The Great Leader Ataturk attended the holiday ceremony in the Ankara Stadium on 19 May 1938.

The people of Samsun decided to celebrate the ‘Gazi Day’ in 1926, in order to immortalize the 19th of May 1919, which has an important place in our history and which is regarded as the beginning of our national struggle for independence. In 1927 it was celebrated with three separate ceremonies with the sod-turning ceremony of the Gazi Statue, the speeches given in front of the Gazievi (Today’s Gazi Museum), and the torchlight processions organized by the military, schools and communities.

The proposed law of TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) was presented to the President’s approval to become a law on the 21st of June 1938. According to the Law number 3950 dated 4th of July 1938, a clause was added to the second article of the Law Number 2739 and the 19th day of May was named as the ‘Youth and Sports Day.’ It continued to be celebrated as the ‘Youth and Sports Day’ from that date forward.

Unfortunately, Ataturk did not live long enough to celebrate the 19th May as an official holiday. 19th of May, which was remembered with this name until 1981, was changed with the Law Regarding the National Holidays and General Holidays Number 2429 dated 17 March 1981, and under the second paragraph of the clause A) of the second article of the subject law, it was referred to as ‘2. The 19th day of May is the Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day.’

Thus, this holiday came to be a general national holiday, instead of the Gazi Day only celebrated in Samsun.

19 May Youth and Sports Day Representation

19 May 1938 Youth and Sports Day Celebrations

19 May Celebrations at Ankara 19 May Stadium

19 May Celebrated as an Official Holiday for the First Time

19 May Celebrations in 1938

19 May Celebrations in Samsun

Representation of Ataturk’s landing in Samsun and 19 May Celebrations

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s landing in Samsun on the 19th of May 1919

The Last 19 May Celebrations Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Attended

19 May 2008 - Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day

The Last 19 May Ataturk Attended

19 May Celebrations in Ankara in 1985

1985 19 May Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day

Ataturk’s landing in Samsun by Ismet Inonu