On 23rd of April 2021, Turkey celebrates 101 anniversary of the opening the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the first Parliament of the Republic of Turkey. However, in 1929, the republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, presented the April 23 festival as a gift to the children of the world. In 1929, it was celebrated as Children’s Day for the first time. .
April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day is a national holiday created by combining three other holidays. In the beginning “Children Day” was another day, and “National Sovereignty” and “April 23 Holiday” were separate holidays, they were combined as “Children Holiday”.
April 23 is children day and it is related to the opening of the GNAT; however, the opening of the GNAT was celebrated separately from children day until 1981. Children day was first celebrated after Turkish Association for Protection of Children (Himaye-i Etfal Cemiyeti) had proclaimed this day as “children day” in 1927.
The aim of the National Sovereignty Holiday (Hakimiyet-i Milliye Bayramı)”, which was first celebrated on the 1st of November, then on 23rd of April, was to celebrate the abolition of the sultanate and foundation of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT). And the purpose of the “Children Day” was to gladden impoverished children left as orphans during the Turkish War of Independence. With the UNESCO’s proclamation of 1979 as International Year of the Children, TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) started to celebrate this day internationally. Since this year this special public holiday has been internationalized. In 1933 Mustafa Kemal initiated the tradition of the accept children in the Presidential Office, which is still a common practice in Turkey. Turkey is the first and only country to dedicate a national day to its children.
For the past two years, the celebrations for the day have evolved, just like all other things in our lives. Thus, the day traditionally marked outdoors with children showcasing their dancing skills, reciting poems and singing songs is a muted occasion this year.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Turkish nation celebrated the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day and the 101st anniversary of the Parliament’s foundation from homes under a nationwide curfew.
Celebration in Eskisehir
While the buildings throughout the city were decorated with flags and posters of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the city was almost turned into red and white. The anthems released by Tepebaşı Municipality vehicles wandering around the city throughout the day also added enthusiasm to the citizens. In the evening, the celebration cortege organized by Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality and Tepebaşı Municipality took place in the busy streets of the city with marches.
Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality, delivering book sets to 500 households living in 12 rural districts. Book sets prepared for children and Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Prof. Dr. Yılmaz Büyükerşen’s letter to the children was delivered to children through fairy tale heroes and clowns as well as field teams.
The book set consisted of 42 books prepared by the Metropolitan Municipality for children as a small library consisting of story books, children’s novels and activity books for the 7-12 age group. Families and children visited the children living in Alpu, Beylikova, Çifteler, Günyüzü, Han, İnönü, Mahmudiye, Mihalgazi, Mihalıççık, Sarıcakaya, Seyitgazi and Sivrihisar districts.
“There were 2.3 or more children living in the houses we reached. For this reason, we have offered more than 750 children the chance to read books and do activities with their siblings. We are happy to deliver our gifts that will provide knowledge to our children, the elders of the future, ” Metropolitan Municipality officials said.
Children are our future and we should take care of them.
Proder team wish you a happy National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.