National Sovereignty and Children's Day

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National Sovereignty and Children's Day
23 April 2011 festival.jpg
Events at schools take place across Turkey on Children's Day.
Official nameUlusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı  (Turkish)
Also calledThe Twenty-third of April
Observed by Turkey
 Northern Cyprus
TypeNational
SignificanceThe day in 1920 that the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was founded
CelebrationsConcerts, parades, events at schools, cultural programmes
Date23 April
Next time23 April 2021 (2021-04-23)
Frequencyannual

National Sovereignty and Children's Day (Turkish: Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı) is a public holiday in Turkey commemorating the foundation of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, on 23 April 1920. It is the only holiday, which is devoted to all children of the world by Ataturk. It is also observed by Northern Cyprus.[1]

Background[edit]

23 April is the day that the Grand 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.[2]

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.[3][4] 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.[2] Over the next eight years, Atatürk and his followers adopted sweeping reforms to create a modern Turkey, divorced from its Ottoman past.[5] 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.[3]

Customs[edit]

Every year, the children in Turkey celebrate National Sovereignty and Children's Day as a national holiday. Similar to other April events, Children's Day celebrations often take place outdoors.[6] Schools participate in week-long ceremonies marked by performances in all fields in large stadiums watched by the entire nation.[6] 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 cabinet ministers, provincial governors, and mayors all turn over their positions to children's representatives. These children, in turn, sign executive orders relating to educational and environmental policies.[7][8] 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.[9][10]

Over the last two decades, the Turkish Republic has been working hard to internationalize this important day. Their efforts resulted in large number of countries 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.[11] The foreign children groups also participate in the special session of the Grand National Assembly.[12]

Celebration gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2019'da 14'ü resmi, 119 gün tatil var". Kıbrıs Gazetesi (in Turkish). December 17, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "The Fundamental Law and abolition of the sultanate". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "23 Nisan" (in Turkish). TBMM Kültür, Sanat ve Yayın Başkanlığı. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  4. ^ "23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı – Mesajları ve şiirleri". Sabah (in Turkish). April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "Turkey under Mustafa Kemal". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı tüm yurtta coşkuyla kutlandı". Sözcü (in Turkish). April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  7. ^ "23 Nisan ile özdeşleşen koltuk devirleri gerçekleşti! Makamlar bugün miniklerin oldu". Sabah (in Turkish). April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  8. ^ "Büyükşehirde 23 Nisan'da Koltuk Değişimi" (in Turkish). Haberler.com. April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  9. ^ "95 yıldır aynı heyecan". Habertürk (in Turkish). April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  10. ^ "Turkey celebrates Sovereignty Day, Children's Day on April 23". Hürriyet Daily News. April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  11. ^ Alkan, Behçet (April 20, 2017). "Dünya çocukları Türk misafirperverliğiyle tanışıyor" (in Turkish). Anadolu Agency. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  12. ^ Gürcanlı, Zeynep (April 23, 2019). "TBMM'de 23 Nisan özel oturumu". Sözcü (in Turkish). Retrieved April 9, 2020.

External links[edit]