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Nation celebrates May 19

Nation celebrates May 19

Nation celebrates May 19

May 19 Ataturk Commemoration, Youth and Sports Day was celebrated on Monday with parade and ceremonies, and various activities nationwide in Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and at Turkish missions abroad. High-level state officials led by President Abdullah Gul firstly visited Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey early morning yesterday. Members of the cabinet, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, Constitutional Court Chief Hasim Kilic, Chief of General Staff Yasar Buyukanit, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, opposition National Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli and representatives from other parties also attended ceremonies at Anitkabir. Gul laid a wreath at the tomb of Ataturk and signed the Anitkabir memorial guestbook. "Great Atatürk, we stand before you with pride and joy on the 89th anniversary of your setting foot in Samsun for the first time at the start of our struggle for independence. The modern Republic of Turkey you've founded is moving forward to become one of the leading countries of the world. The level we have reached is the result of conscious steps and determination being transferred from one generation to the next. The achievements and successes of our republic will continue to empower our nation and state. The Republic of Turkey, a democratic, secular, social state of law, will exist until the end of time," Gul wrote in the guestbook. Gul also stressed Turkish youth's determination to realize ideals of the republic. Gul later took part in ceremonies at the May 19 stadium and followed activities performed by young people to celebrate the day. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan couldn't attend both ceremonies at the Anitkabir and May 19 stadium due to health problem with his eyes. Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek represented Erdogan during the ceremonies. 89 years ago, on May 19, 1919 Ataturk landed in Samsun to start the national independence struggle.

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