National Sovereignty and Children's Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
National Sovereignty and Children's Day
Observed by Turkey
Date23 April
Next time23 April 2020 (2020-04-23)

National Sovereignty and Children's Day (Turkish: Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı) is one of the public holidays in Turkey.

"Egemenlik kayıtsız şartsız milletindir." or "Hakimiyet bilâ kayd u şart milletindir."
"Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people."
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk


Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (mid) in Ankara on the "Day of National Sovereignty", present-day the "National Sovereignty and Children's Day", on April 23, 1929.

This is the day that the National Assembly of Turkey was founded in 1920. The national council denounced the government of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed VI and announced a temporary constitution.

This national day, April 23 Children's Day, in Turkey is a unique event. The founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, presented April 23 to all the world's children to emphasize that they are successor of the future.[1][2] During the War of Independence, Grand National Assembly met in Ankara and laid down the foundations of a new, independent, secular and modern republic from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. Following the defeat of the Allied invasion forces on September 9, 1922 and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on July 24, 1923, Atatürk started his task of establishing the institutions of the new state. Over the next eight years, Atatürk and his followers adopted sweeping reforms to create a modern Turkey, divorced from her Ottoman past. In unprecedented moves, he dedicated the sovereignty day to the children and entrusted in the hands of the youth the protection of this sovereignty and independence.

April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day[edit]

Every year, the children in Turkey celebrate this "Sovereignty and Children's Day" as a national holiday. Schools participate in week-long ceremonies marked by performances in all fields in large stadiums watched by the entire nation. Among the activities on this day, the children send their representatives to replace state officials and high ranking civil servants in their offices. The President, the Prime Minister, the cabinet ministers, provincial governors all turn over their positions to children's representatives. These children, in turn, sign executive orders relating to educational and environmental policies. On this day, the children also replace the parliamentarians in the Grand National Assembly and hold a special session to discuss matters concerning children's issues.[3][4]

Children from Macedonia performing folk dance on the street on the "National Sovereignty and Children's Day" at Beykoz, Istanbul in 2014.

Over the last two decades, the Turkey Republic has been working hard to internationalize this important day. Their efforts resulted in large number of world states' sending groups of children to Turkey to participate in the above stated festivities. During their stay in Turkey, the foreign children are housed in Turkish homes and find an important opportunity to interact with the Turkish children and learn about each other's countries and cultures. The foreign children groups also participate in the special session of the Grand National Assembly. This results in a truly international Assembly, where children pledge their commitment to international peace and brotherhood.

The importance of April 23 as a special day of children has been recognized by the international community. UNICEF decided to recognize this important day as the International Children's Day.


  1. ^ "23 Nisan" (in Turkish). TBMM Kültür, Sanat ve Yayın Başkanlığı. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  2. ^ "23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı – Mesajları ve şiirleri". Sabah (in Turkish). 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  3. ^ "95 yıldır aynı heyecan". Habertürk (in Turkish). 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  4. ^ "Turkey celebrates Sovereignty Day, Children's Day on April 23". Hürriyet Daily News. 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2015-04-23.

External links[edit]