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Youth and Sports Day

Youth and Sports Day 2024, 2025 and 2026 in Turkey

Every 19 May, Turkey combines the memory of the founder of the modern independent and secular state and the love of youth and sports into one celebration.

202419 MaySunYouth and Sports Day
202519 MayMonYouth and Sports Day
202619 MayTueYouth and Sports Day
Please scroll down to end of page for previous years' dates.

On Youth and Sports Day there are numerous sports events held and attended by great masses throughout the country. And there are also patriotic ceremonies and a focus on independence leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

About 10 days before 19 May, a marathon run by young athletes who carry Turkey’s flag begins at the Black Sea port of Samsun. That was the city were Ataturk’s independence movement began. The flag is run up to Ankara, the capital city, and given to the president on Turkey on 19 May.

There are also smaller marathons that everyone is allowed to run in, along with other sports competitions open to the general public. 

Some observe 19 May as if it were Ataturk’s birthday, though his real day of birth is unknown. Wreaths are hung at Ataturk monuments and flags drape buildings throughout the land.

Previous Years

202319 MayFriYouth and Sports Day
202219 MayThuYouth and Sports Day
202119 MayWedYouth and Sports Day
202019 MayTueYouth and Sports Day
201919 MaySunYouth and Sports Day
201819 MaySatYouth and Sports Day
201719 MayFriYouth and Sports Day