EVENTS / istanbulogy / May 19, 2012

19 May Fest


19 May is the day Atatürk, the founding father of Turkey, arrived in Samsun and started the Turkish War of Independence in 1919. Since 1933, this historic day is dedicated to the young people and has been celebrated officially nationwide. His speech to the youth, which is all about the duties young people should fulfill, marks the basic tenets of the secular state founded in 1923. I thought I have done a lot for this country: educating young people for more than a decade. Waving flags was not my cup of coffee. I have never attended any of those ceremonies or watched them on TV. Until today. Until the day the ceremonies are officially banned. Until the day leaving a bunch of flowers for the Atatürk statue is banned. I have not voted at every election. I thought voting was a right, not a duty as it was indoctrinated. One day, you come to realize that your rights are actually on very slippery grounds. Then, you start to think about the “old-fashioned” duties.




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Tags:  Atatürk festival May nationalism photo essays politics portrait rally republican Republican period

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