To celebrate ‘19 Mayıs’ Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, the Turkish Community Football Federation (TTFF) is hosting a huge football tournament in Wood Green on Sunday, 23 May, and “everyone is invited!”, says TTFF President Osman Ercen.
The event kicks off at 2pm at the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre and will feature a total of 24 teams. Fourteen are adult male teams, two adult female, two under 15 male, two under 10 female, two over 35 male and two over 45 male.
Each game is fifteen minutes long – two halves of 7.5 minutes – played as a seven-a-side, with up to 6 substitutions per side.
The tournament, sponsored by Les Ambassadeurs Hotel, Kyrenia, is free to attend. “All spectators will also be offered a complimentary doner wrap and drink,” Mr Ercen told T-VINE Magazine.
TTFF is one of the British Turkish community’s oldest and largest associations. Formed in 1976 with 12 founder member football clubs, it now represents thousands of players and dozens of clubs through its ever-expanding structure.
Currently TTFF has two adult leagues, U16 and U14 youth teams, and veteran (over 35 and over 45) sides. It is also cultivating teams for women and girls.
Importance of ‘19 Mayıs’ Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day
Every 19 May, the people of Turkey commemorate Mustafa Kemal’s landing at Samsun, on the Black Sea, on 19 May 1919, which marked the start of the Turkish War of Independence.
The Turks emerged victorious from the four-year war, expelling numerous foreign powers which had invaded the crumbling Ottoman Empire, among them Britain, France, Italy, Greece, and Armenia.
Under the guidance of Kemal, renamed Atatürk (father of the Turks), the Turkish people declared a new, secular republic.
The date 19 May was gifted by Atatürk to the country’s young people, in whom he trusted to not only defend its borders, but also its values and secular heritage.
In 1936 it was decided this historic day should be celebrated annually as Youth and Sports Day. It became formalised by state decree in June 1938.
Date: Sunday 23 May
Times: 2pm to 5pm
Place: White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre, White Hart Lane, Wood Green, London N22 5QW