Welcome to A Postcard From Turkey, everyone! Today is 23rd of April, a well known day in Turkey. It is the only national holiday dedicated to children worldwide. Its official name is 23 April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, and events for children are held throughout Turkey to celebrate the holiday.
Turkish children having a traditional dance performance
Children form to create a Human-Flag on the background
During the War of Independence, the Grand National Assembly laid the foundations for an independent, secular, and modern Republic to succeed the Ottoman Empire. On April 23, 1920 Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, dedicated that day as a gift to the children of the world to emphasize that Turkish children will create the modern Republic and that all children are the creators of the future.
A Picture of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic
Each year, April 23 is celebrated in Turkey as a national holiday. Schools participate in week-long ceremonies marked by performances in large stadiums watched by the entire nation. Each year some children are chosen to represent children in the offices of state officials and high ranking civil servants for one day. The President, the Prime Minister, the cabinet ministers, provincial governors all turn over their positions to the children’s representatives as well. Children also replace parliamentarians in the Grand National Assembly and hold a special session to discuss issues of concern to children.
Males Performing a Traditional Turkish Dance, Females Cheering with Pom Poms
Children’s Ballet Show
For the past two decades, Turkey has been working for the international recognition of Children’s Day. As a result, many countries send children to Turkey to experience National Children’s Day. They get to observe Turkish culture and Turkish children get to meet these international guests, make friends and observe other cultures. The international children also participate in the special session of the Grand National Assembly where they form an International Assembly to talk about international peace and brotherhood. As a result of these efforts, UNICEF has recognized this day as the International Children’s Day.
International Kids Visiting Turkey
International Children with Their Flags and Traditional Clothes
If you happen to be in Istanbul on 23rd of April and would like to take your kids to some events, or be a kid yourself and visit some of the events in Istanbul, please check the suggestions of Guide Istanbul below. Happy International Children’s Day everyone!