One Heart One Purpose

IT IS NOT FOR NOTHING THAT MAY 19, THE DAY THAT MARKED THE START OF THE TURKISH LIBERATION MOVEMENT, WAS LATER DECLARED SPORTS AND YOUTH DAY.

Freedom can only be won when a people bound together in mind, body and faith struggle for the same interests by dedicating themselves to a single cause, both as individuals and as masses of people. It was with such a notion of team sport in mind that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk dedicated May 19 to sports and young people. When he said, ‘I like intelligent, quick and morally strong athletes,’ Ataturk was describing not only the healthy Turkish citizens and athletes he envisioned but also the Turkish nation.

Sports strengthen cultural bonds by bringing people together as well as training future generations of healthy individuals. What’s more, thanks to the competition they engender sports also pave the way to individual and social progress. At the same time, sports are an excellent opportunity for a country to promote itself, as we recall once again on this Sports, Youth and Ataturk Commemoration Day on May 19.