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 2022 (2022-04-23)
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 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] 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, the Turkish Government started the task of establishing the institutions of a state.[2]

23 April was declared "National Sovereignty Day" on May 2, 1921.[3] Since 1927, the holiday has also been celebrated as a children's day.[4] Thus, Turkey became the first country to officially declare children's day a national holiday.[5] In 1981, the holiday was officially named "National Sovereignty and Children's Day."[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] Students decorate their classrooms with flags, balloons and handmade ornaments.[7][8] Anıtkabir is visited by children and politicians every year.[9] 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 in a purely ceremonial exercise.[10] On this day, children also replace the parliamentarians in the Grand National Assembly and hold a ceremonial special session to discuss matters concerning children's issues.[11][12]

After UNESCO proclaimed 1979 as the International Year of the Child, the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) organized the first TRT International April 23 Children's Festival.[13] Five countries participated in this first holiday. Over the years, this number grew steadily, resulting in children from about 50 countries coming to Turkey in an official ceremony every year to participate in the festival. During the time, children stay with Turkish families and interact with the Turkish children and learn about each other's countries and cultures.[14][15] The foreign children groups also participate in the ceremonial session of the Grand National Assembly.[16]

Celebration gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2019'da 14'ü resmi, 119 gün tatil var" [119 days off, including 14 days of public holidays, in 2019]. 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 Çelepi, Mehmet Surur (November 2020). "Toplumsal Anımsamanın Millî Bayramlar ile Gerçekleşmesi: 23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı Örneği" [Social Remembrance with National Holidays: The Case of April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day]. Afyon Kocatepe Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi (in Turkish). 22 (TBMM'nin 100. Yılı ve Millî İrade Özel Sayısı): 38. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  4. ^ Akoğlan Kozak, Meryam; Mutlu, Dilek (November 2020). "Dünden Bugüne 23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı Etkinlikleri" [April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day Events from Past to Today]. Afyon Kocatepe Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi (in Turkish). 22 (TBMM'nin 100. Yılı ve Millî İrade Özel Sayısı): 19. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  5. ^ "National Sovereignty and Children's Day". Turkish Coalition of America. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı tüm yurtta coşkuyla kutlandı" [April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day was celebrated throughout the country]. Sözcü (in Turkish). April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  7. ^ Öztürkmen, Arzu (Fall 2001). "Celebrating National Holidays in Turkey: History and Memory". New Perspectives on Turkey. 25: 67.
  8. ^ "23 Nisan coşkusunun merkezinde de Sınırsızlar vardı!" [Sınırsızlar was at the center of the celebrations of April 23!]. Sözcü (in Turkish). April 26, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  9. ^ "23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı: TBMM 99 yaşında" [April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day: TBMM is 99 years old] (in Turkish). Euronews. April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  10. ^ "Büyükşehirde 23 Nisan'da Koltuk Değişimi" [Change of Seat in the Metropolitan Municipality on April 23] (in Turkish). Haberler.com. April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  11. ^ "95 yıldır aynı heyecan" [The same excitement for 95 years]. Habertürk (in Turkish). April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  12. ^ "Turkey celebrates Sovereignty Day, Children's Day on April 23". Hürriyet Daily News. April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  13. ^ "TRT'de 23 Nisan" [April 23 on TRT]. Hürriyet (in Turkish). April 23, 1998. Archived from the original on April 23, 2021. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  14. ^ "Festival İçin Gelen Yabancı Öğrencileri Evlerinde Ağırladılar" [Foreign Students Coming for the Festival were Hosted at Homes] (in Turkish). Haberler.com. April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  15. ^ Alkan, Behçet (April 20, 2017). "Dünya çocukları Türk misafirperverliğiyle tanışıyor" [Children of the world meet Turkish hospitality] (in Turkish). Anadolu Agency. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  16. ^ Gürcanlı, Zeynep (April 23, 2019). "TBMM'de 23 Nisan özel oturumu" [April 23 special session at TBMM]. Sözcü (in Turkish). Retrieved April 9, 2020.

External links[edit]