On the 23rd of April every year Turkey celebrates, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı.
Here are some facts about the day about why it was started and what happens on the day.
- Between 1923 to 1934 the 23rd of April marked the Grand National Assembly and the day started a week of celebrations for the Children. In 1935 the Government decided to create one day creating the first National Sovereignty Day and Children’s Day.On April 23rd 1920 during the War of Independence, The first Grand National Assembly took place. It was said that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk dedicated the New Turkish Republic to the Children of Turkey.
“Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people” Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
- Turkey was the first country to have a day to celebrate the Children of the nation. At the World Conference in Geneva in 1925 the day was recognised internationally and in 1980 UNICEF dedicated the 1st of June as International Children’s Day.
- During the day of the 23 April National Sovereignty day is recognised by memorials throughout the country, with wreath laying and speeches. The main memorial being held at Ataturk’s Mausoleum in Ankara attended by the President, Prime Minister, Party leaders and other government Officials.
- As Ataturk was said to have dedicated the Grand Assembly to the Children of Turkey, children throughout the country are given seats of government and are allowed to govern the country for one day including two lucky children who get to be President and Prime Minister. The Children carry out official duties and appear on state television.
- Schools have festivities to celebrate the day, including variety shows, speeches and readings. Parades take place in Towns and cities with activities and speeches through out the day.
- Over the past few year’s TRT the national television invite children from 14 countries to celebrate the day in Turkey, the international children stay with Turkish families for a week and take part on the day. It’s a great way to strengthen ties with other nations and a great opportunity for the visiting children.
- The 23rd of April is a national holiday and Government offices, Banks and Schools are closed.
Ataturk famously said, “Children are the new beginning of tomorrow” and how true those words are.
I love Children’s Day it’s a great day of celebrations and a day to remember who is the future of the country and world. We spend the day at my husbands School enjoying the festivities with the children and their families and then head into the city centre to enjoy the parades.
Do you love Children’s Day? What are your plans for the day?
© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.