Friday, 23 April 2010

National Sovereignty and Childrens' Day

Today isn't just Billy's birthday, Shakespeare's birthday (and  the day of his death), and St George's Day, it's an important national holiday in Turkey.

The following is taken verbatim  from Todays Zaman (so make allowances for their translation)

April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day, which marks the foundation of the Turkish Parliament in 1920, is being celebrated with a series of events throughout Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on Friday.

State officials headed by Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Şahin paid a visit to Anıtkabir, modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's Mausoleum.

High-level state officials observed a minute of silent and sung the National Anthem.

Later Şahin signed the Anıtkabir Special Register and wrote: "The Turkish parliament, which has been working to reach the level of contemporary civilizations, will keep working with a great determination in accordance with your (Ataturk's) principles."

Groups of children from different schools are putting out their massive shows at the May 19 Stadium in Ankara.

Students, scouts and folklore dancers made a ceremonial march in the beginning of celebrations in the stadium.

April 23 is the only children's festival in the world.

It was on April 23, 1920, during the War of Independence, that the Grand National Assembly was inaugurated in Ankara and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk laid down the foundations of a new, independent, secular, and modern Republic of Turkey.

He also dedicated this day to the children of the country to emphasize that they are the future of the new nation and since then, April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day is celebrated in Turkey as a national day. The importance of April 23 as a special day of children has also been recognized internationally and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) endorsed this important day as the International Children's Day.

Every year on this date, children from all around the world come together in Turkey to enjoy Children's Day celebrations and festivities in a hope that these memories of friendly atmosphere will contribute to a future of enhanced brotherhood and peace among nations.


  1. Turkish friends will be celebrating and I'm sorry not to be able to be with them to see our builder's daughters in their folkdance group.

  2. Unfortunately there were no celebrations in the village today Fly. This is the first year that I haven't had the pleasure of seeing the procession of children in national costume through the streets, and the various displays of traditional dancing.
    I wondered if it was more subdued in this little village because it's a Friday...holy day..and they do seem to take their religion very seriously here.

  3. Tell billy that Mr. and Mrs. H in America wish him the best of birthdays, hope your day is going well too.:)

    I enjoy the information you share with all of us on Turkey, a very interesting country.

  4. Thankyou Mr H...I hear Billy had a wonderful day.

  5. Glad Billy had a good time - hope your train went down well. I guess he's a bit too young to enjoy much more than tearing up the wrapping paper.

  6. Oh yes FF wrapping paper is always attractive at that age. He had some lovely presents, amongst which were some maracas which he didn't stop shaking! His dad enjoyed playing with the train dads always do!

  7. I like the idea of Children's Day. Would be good to have one here.
    They have something similar in Japan on 2 occasions per year..... one for boys and one for girls.
    Didn't know that Shakespeare died on his Birthday!
    That is what I like about blogging because you learn so much.
    St. George's Day should be celebrated more, I think.

    Glad Billy had a good B/day.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

    Nuts in May

  8. Maggie: It's a lovely celebration. Ataturk did a great deal for the children of Turkey and that in itself is worth celebrating.
    The English don't really make enough of St Georges Day do they? Shame.


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