May 19 in Turkey is an official holiday and a day off in schools. Although it is called the Day of Youth and Sports, first of all, May 19 is the day of memory of Ataturk, since it was he who on May 19, 1919 addressed the youth in Samsun, informing about the general mobilization. So this day became the day of the beginning of the war for the independence of Turkey. In view of the fact that mostly young people fought, it is believed that the country gained its independence thanks to young people, so this important holiday is dedicated to her.
The holiday was first celebrated in 1935 in Istanbul at the stadium of the Fenerbahce football team. Then football players and other athletes took part in the celebration, so a sports component was added to the name of the holiday.
66% of the Turkish population are young people, so a lot of attention is paid to the celebration of Youth and Sports Day and various events are held on May 19 and 20. Concerts, competitions and other entertainment events are held in the squares of all cities of Turkey.
On the evening of May 19, at exactly 19 hours and 19 minutes local time, the anthem "Istiklâl Marşı" (Independence March) sounds throughout the country and there comes a minute of silence in memory of Ataturk. All citizens of the country unite in a single outburst of patriotism and pride for their country! Even traffic stops and drivers get out of their cars to participate in a minute of silence!