President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said easing coronavirus containment measures does not mean that Turkey is ready to go back to pre-virus days. He said that the virus will be around for a while and citizens should learn to live with it during this period.Turkey celebrates Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day
“We will not perceive normalization like our lives prior to March 20. We will arrange our lives not forgetting the fact that the virus will be around for a while. I trust the youth of this country in the fight against the epidemic,” Erdoğan said on May 19, while holding a teleconference with a group of young people, in an attempt to mark the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day.
“I would like to express my happiness to be with you [the youth] even via teleconference meeting. I hereby send my greetings to all of our young people who are the hope of our future,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey on May 19 celebrated the Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day amid the coronavirus measures. Millions of Turkish citizens marked the day at their homes this year, contrary to previous years which saw celebratory events and concerts.Turkey to celebrate Eid al-Fitr under curfew
“We are also spending Ramadan with a heavy heart [due to coronavirus]. Despite this, I am pleased that the youth is looking after their own holiday. May 19 is the symbol of determination of resistance. May 19 is the first step of freedom and courage against captivity,” Erdoğan said.
May 19 is a milestone in Turkish history, the day when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkish Republic, arrived in the Black Sea province of Samsun from Istanbul in 1919 to launch the Independence War.
Atatürk dedicated May 19 to the youth of the Turkish nation as Youth and Sports Day.
On May 18, Erdoğan said stadiums across Turkey will be illuminated at 7.19 p.m. local time and the Turkish national anthem will be broadcast to mark the occasion. He also called on Turks to sing along the national anthem from their balconies or windows as Turkey's major 15 provinces are currently under a curfew.