Turkey celebrates War of Independence's centenary

Ataturk defeated enemies on May 19, 1919 ignoring the mandate of the Allies, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on the Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day.

"We will do the same now," he added, speaking at an event held in the Black Sea province of Samsun.

Turkey has always relied on its people and Allah in its independence struggle like Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Turkish Republic, did 100 years ago, he said.

"Every day we break a trap set for our country either inside or outside of the country and we renew our ambition for a stronger future."

"Although its name, flag and geography may have changed, we have always been one state," he said, adding "From the middle of Europe to the depths of Africa, our ancestors have ruled over a vast geography."

"They left behind a legacy of love, respect, justice and compassion. Neither colonialism, nor genocide or oppression, nor any other shame, has any place in this nation’s record."

May 19 is a milestone in Turkish history as it is the day when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk arrived in the city of Samsun from Istanbul to organise the war that saw the remnants of the Ottoman Empire transformed into modern Turkey four years later.

Ataturk dedicated May 19 to youth of Turkish nation as Youth and Sports Day, a national holiday that sees young people stage sporting and cultural activities and official ceremonies organised across the nation.

Massive celebrations were held across Turkey to mark the event, including Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and all foreign representations.

Earlier, in his message on the occasion, Erdogan said, "May 19 is the day when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk started our national struggle [against the allied powers] upon his arrival in Samsun 100 years ago."

"May 19 is the day of awakening of the national will, the spirit of unity and the strength of a strong faith to repel the occupation forces from our lands. May 19 is the resurrection of this [Turkish] nation," he added.

Turkey celebrates War of Independence's centenary
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