Eastern Mediterranean University Atatürk Research and Application Center (EMU-ATAUM) Chair Assist. Prof. Dr. Turgay Bülent Göktürk released a statement on the 100th Anniversary of 19 May, Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day. Assist. Prof. Dr. Turgay Bülent Göktürk’s message reads as follows:
“19 May 1919 is the commencement of national sovereignty. Exactly a century ago today, the Great Leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk stepped down to Samsun, launched the Action Phase of our National Struggle.
The date of May 19, 2019 has a special meaning as it is the 100th anniversary of this special day, when a nation showed its determination to exist against all shortages and deprivation.
At the beginning of his Great Speech, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk talked about his decision on 19 May 1919, when he arrived in Samsun
“Gentlemen, I will ask you what decision could have been arrived at under these circumstances for salvation. In these circumstances, one solution alone was possible, namely, to create a New Turkish State, the sovereignty and independence of which would be unreservedly recognised by the whole world …The main point was that the Turkish nation should live in honour and dignity. Such a condition could only be attained by complete independence. As vital as considerations of wealth and prosperity might be to a nation, if it is deprived of its independence, it no longer deserves to be regarded otherwise than a slave in the eyes of civilised humanity …But the Turk is both dignified and proud; he is also capable of and talented. Such a nation would prefer to perish rather than subject itself to the life of a slave. Therefore, Independence or Death …”
The National Independence Struggle, which he started with this slogan, succeeded against all difficulties and following the rescue of the country from imperialist occupation forces, the revolution was carried out to bring the Turkish Nation to the level of contemporary civilization.
At the end of his Great Speech, Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk emphasised that “the result attained today is the fruit of teachings which aroused from centuries of suffering and the price of streams of blood which have drenched every foot of the ground of our beloved Fatherland.”
In his Great Speech, Atatürk hands over the Turkish Republic to the Turkish youth by stating that “This holy treasure I lay in the hands of the youth of Turkey.” He explained how Turkish youth will protect and preserve the Turkish Republic with his ‘Address to Turkish Youth”.
EMU Youth also celebrated the 100th anniversary of this special day with many other activities such as record blood donation, oratorio, folk dance and music performances, Search and Rescue Team shows, and re-creating Ata’s signature in air, at sea and on land.
On this special day, we commemorate Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, his comrades and all martyrs with gratitude and respect. I wish you all a happy 19 May, Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day.”