May 19th Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day

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Below is H.E. President Abdullah Gül’s message on the occasion of the May 19th Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day

“My fellow citizens and dear youth,

I send my love to you all on this meaningful day which we are celebrating with pride.

While we are proud to be celebrating our national festival, we feel the agony of the mine disaster occuring in Soma in our hearts. We as the whole nation have a deep grief. I hereby would like to express my wish once again that Allah’s mercy be upon the mine workers who lost their lives in that disaster. May they rest in peace. I share the grief of their families.

My dear citizens and our youth,

Atatürk’s arrival in Samsun served as a beacon of hope and turned the belief in salvation into action under the adverse conditions the nation was faced with at the time. May 19 was a historic step taken toward the independence of the land and so that our nation could live honorably.

The Independence War, which was intitiated on May 19 and carried out under the leadership of Atatürk and with the great sacrifices of our nation as well as with the brave decisions of our parliament, paved the way for the foundation of the independent Republic of Turkey based upon the sovereignty of the nation.

If we are talking about today a strong, developing and rising Turkey, we owe that to these resolute and sagacious steps taken, the extraordinary efforts displayed, the honorable struggles demonstrated and great sacrifices made at that time.

I would like to express gladly that Turkey, which is carrying out its efforts with determination to build a prosperous future toward the integration with the modern world, has made considerable progress on the path to becoming a developed economy and democracy despite all the existing problems and deficiencies. The comprehensive and radical steps taken in recent years have helped this process to gain momentum. I would like to reiterate my belief that our problems and deficiencies will be overcome in the light of universal values.

Our objective ahead is to leave a happy and peaceful country that has achieved the highest level in the economy, politics and democracy and that has provided its people with high incomes to the next generations. Such a Turkey will also enable us to reach the target to carry our country to the level of the modern civilizations.

Our youth has the most important duty in this regard. It is our young population who will carry further our country to much higher levels. Therefore, it is crucial that we turn our demographic opportunities in terms of having a young population into an advantage.

The global competition for development involves raising quality generations, developing the necessary programs and policies for them, which is why we attach great importance to the education of our youth.

We would like our youth to have more active and participatory roles in economic, social and political life. We also aim at raising a youth who have lofty and liberal ideals, who are loyal to our national and spiritual values, who chase after innovativeness, who make research, who can produce and who are tech-savvy.

I further would like to underscore the importance that we overcome the concerns of our youth about the future. Resolution of the problems of our youth requries meeting their expectations, caring about their needs and their ideas and understanding them well.

Dear youth,

You are the most important potential of our country. You should prepare yourselves in the best way for the future.

You also should make tireless efforts to reach the truth and learn more by making research and comparisons and questioning things. You should be able to develop your abilities to understand the world and catch up with the changes and novelties. Moreover, you should aim at being global citizens and work for the good of humanity. Sports should occupy an important part in your lives as well.

Besides, loving all people, attaching utmost importance to justice and equality, respecting human rights and difference ideas, adopting democracy as a culture, aiming high and making efforts in the direction of your ideals should all be a philosophy for you.

I have no doubt that you as the key to the change and driving force for development will fulfill your responsibilities in the best way for the good of our country, nation and all humanity. Your existence and dynamism add value to our country. I wholeheartedly believe that you will carry Turkey to the future with right and resolute steps.

I hereby remember Atatürk and all our heroes and heroines of the Independence War with gratitude and tribute and I once again celebrate your May 19th Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day!”

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