On this day, Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) commemorates and celebrates the 101st Anniversary of the start of the Turkish War of Independence.

May 19 marks a significant date in the history of the Turkish Republic. On May 19, 1919, Army General Mustafa Kemal Pasha arrived in the port city of Samsun on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. His arrival was the first step in the Turkish War of Independence against powers that had invaded Turkey at the end of World War I. Through Mustafa Kemal’s bravery and leadership and with full support of the Anatolian people, Mustafa Kemal’s army repelled all invading forces from Turkish soil. Thus, began the Turkish Revolution and transformation of a people into a progressive, secular and democratic nation. From that day forward, Turks became united, for the first time recognizing and celebrating their nationhood and sovereignty.

ATAA remembers Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s message to the Turkish Youth, which he quoted at the end of his famous, 36 hour-long speech, “Nutuk”.

“I’d like to direct my last words specifically to the youngsters of our homeland. Turkish Youth! You add on to and carry on our confidence. With the discipline and virtue you gain, you’ll be the most valuable reflection of humanity, love of homeland, and freedom of opinion. You, arising new generation! The future is yours. We formed the Republic; you’ll make it live on…” M. Kemal Atatürk

ATAA extends its best wishes to Turks and Turkish Americans, both at home and abroad, on this day of tribute to Atatürk and to the energy and optimism of youth everywhere.

Happy Youth and Sports Day!