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National Sovereignty and Children's Day in Turkey

Quick Facts

National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey, observed every April 23, commemorates the Turkish Parliament’s creation and celebrates children’s role in the country’s development.

Local names

NameLanguage
Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk BayramıTurkish
National Sovereignty and Children's DayEnglish
Feiertag der Nationalen Souveränität und des KindesGerman

National Sovereignty and Children's Day 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

National Sovereignty and Children's Day 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015
List of dates for other years

Solemn ceremonies and children’s festivals take place throughout Turkey on National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, held on April 23 each year. Children take seats in the Turkish Parliament and symbolically govern the country for one day.

Image of young boy with Turkish flag painted on face and the inside of the Turkish Assembly building

Children actively take part in parliament on National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey.

©iStockphoto.com/ Ankaralı Turgut&duncan1890

What do people do?

Many people in Turkey commemorate the first gathering of the Grand National Assembly (the Turkish Parliament), which took place on April 23, 1920, by attending local ceremonies or laying wreaths at monuments of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. The biggest ceremony takes place at the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara.

Because Ataturk reportedly dedicated the Turkish Republic to children, Turkish schoolchildren take seats in the Parliament for the day and symbolically govern the country. They elect a president who then addresses the country on national television. Children’s festivals take place throughout the country. The state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) brings children, aged eight to 14, from different countries around the world to Turkey. These children stay with Turkish families for a week and participate in children’s festivals, which culminate is a gala-performance on April 23.

Public life

National Sovereignty and Children’s Day is an official holiday in Turkey. Government offices, schools and most businesses are closed on this day. Public transport routes may vary in the event of street performances.

Background

The first gathering of the Turkish Grand National Assembly took place on April 23, 1920, during Turkey’s War of Independence (1919-1923). Mustafa Kemal Ataturk proclaimed the parliament an important step toward building a new state after the Ottoman Empire was defeated during World War I. Ataturk reportedly dedicated the Turkish Republic to children in Turkey.

Turkey officially celebrated Grand National Assembly Day on April 23 and held a children’s week starting on that day, from 1923–1934. The Turkish government then combined the two events into National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in 1935. Turkish Radio and Television Corporation has been organizing international children’s festivals, held during the week of April 23, since 1979.

Symbols

The most common symbols of National Sovereignty and Children’s Day are:

These symbols are commonly seen on National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
MonApr 231990National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
TueApr 231991National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
ThuApr 231992National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
FriApr 231993National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
SatApr 231994National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
SunApr 231995National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
TueApr 231996National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
WedApr 231997National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
ThuApr 231998National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
FriApr 231999National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
SunApr 232000National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
MonApr 232001National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
TueApr 232002National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
WedApr 232003National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
FriApr 232004National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
SatApr 232005National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
SunApr 232006National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
MonApr 232007National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
WedApr 232008National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
ThuApr 232009National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
FriApr 232010National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
SatApr 232011National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
MonApr 232012National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
TueApr 232013National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
WedApr 232014National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
ThuApr 232015National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
SatApr 232016National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
SunApr 232017National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
MonApr 232018National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
TueApr 232019National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday
ThuApr 232020National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational holiday

Other holidays in April 2014 in Turkey

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