In Uganda, the Turkish Embassy celebrated the May 19 national holiday Wednesday with different sporting activities in the country.
The full name for the May 19 holiday is the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day. It originally marks the date Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey, arrived in the northern city of Samsun in 1919 to drum up support for his fight for the country’s independence amid the imminent collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Atatürk dedicated May 19 to Turkish youth as Youth and Sports Day, a national holiday where young people stage sporting and cultural activities.
Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Fikret Kerem Alp used the occasion to launch the National Youth Council Football Tournament, an elite playoff series created to provide a platform for football teams to compete at various levels. The Turkish Embassy in Uganda will crown the winners and send them to Turkey for matches.
"Our ancestors left behind a legacy of love, respect and compassion. Neither colonialism, exploitation, oppression, nor any other shame exists in our nation's record. Therefore, the Turkish people through this tournament, will groom talent and create a platform for those who are excellent at football to continue with it at a professional level," said Alp.
Minister for Youth and Children Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi said the tournament marks the beginning of an intergovernmental sporting and employment partnership between Turkey and Uganda.
Turkey's state aid agency, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), will provide jersey kits to teams, said Yahya Acu, TIKA's coordinator in Uganda.
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