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1.       janissary
0 posts
 07 Mar 2006 Tue 08:49 pm


This national day (23 April National Sovereignty and Children's Day) in Turkey is a unique event. The founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, dedicated April 23 to the children of the country to emphasize that they are the future of the new nation. It was on April 23, 1920, during the War of Independence, that the 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, Ataturk started his task of establishing the institutions of the new state. Over the next eight years, Ataturk and his followers adopted sweeping reforms to create a modern Turkey, divorced from her Ottoman past. In unprecedented moves, he dedicated the sovereignty day to the children and entrusted in the hands of the youth the protection of this sovereignty and independence.

Every year, the children in Turkey celebrate this "Sovereignty and Children's Day" as a national holiday. Schools participate in week-long ceremonies marked by performances in all fields in large stadiums watched by the entire nation. Among the activities on this day, the children send their representatives to replace state officials and high ranking bureaucrats in their offices. The President, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Ministers, provincial governors all turn over their positions to children's representatives. These children, in turn, sign executive orders relating to educational and environmental policies. On this day, the children also replace the parliamentarians in the Grand National Assembly and hold a special session to discuss matters concerning children's issues.

Over the last two decades, the Turkish officials have been working hard to internationalize this important day. Their efforts resulted in large number of world states' sending groups of children to Turkey to participate in the above stated festivities. During their stay in Turkey, the foreign children are housed in Turkish homes and find an important opportunity to interact with the Turkish kids and learn about each other's countries and cultures. The foreign children groups also participate in the special session of the Grand National Assembly. This results in a truly international Assembly where children pledge their commitment to international peace and brotherhood.

The importance of April 23 as a special day of children has been recognized by the international community. UNICEF decided to recognize this important day as the International Children's Day.

"Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people"
M. Kemal Atatürk


2.       janissary
0 posts
 07 Mar 2006 Tue 09:13 pm


The Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day (or simply Atatürk Commemoration or Youth and Sports Day) is an annual Turkish national holiday celebrated on May 19 to memorialize the start of the Turkish War of Independence. May 19, 1919 is the day Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, then Mustafa Kemal, who would become independent Turkey's first president, landed on the main peninsula of Turkey to begin leadership of the liberation effort. In early 1920, Kemal convened the first Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara, and by 1922 all of Anatolia was freed from foreign rule. The independent Republic of Turkey was declared a year later. During the course of his term as president, Atatürk himself proclaimed May 19 as "Youth and Sports Day." In the aftermath of Atatürk monumental legacy (a personality cult developed after his early death) the day serves to honor the country's founder.


The Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I along with its allies. Many parts of Anatolia, including the capital, Istanbul, were occupied by the enemy. Realizing that it was impossible to liberate Istanbul, occupied as it was by the naval forces of foreign countries, Mustafa Kemal Pasha decided to move on to Anatolia. The ship, the 'Bandırma' transported Ataturk and his entourage to Samsun, the best landing point on the Black Sea coast under the circumstances, and they landed there on 19 May 1919, after a five-day voyage. On the day Mustafa Kemal left for Samsun, Izmir was occupied by Greek forces and the Greeks began to invade Western Anatolia.

Mustafa Kemal proceeded to Amasya from Samsun and later to Erzurum in Eastern Anatolia, resigned from his official post and started making preparations for the Erzurum and Sivas Congresses. He then went to Ankara where he convened the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 23 April 1920. After fierce fighting with the invading enemy forces, Anatolia was liberated in September, 1922, and the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed on 29 October 1923.

Atatürk dedicated 19 May, the first stage of the War of Independence, to the youth and ever since then, it has been celebrated as "Youth and Sports Day" wherever Turks reside.

3.       damla
129 posts
 07 Mar 2006 Tue 09:17 pm

Yeah I know,we are the first and only nation who celebrates festival of children.Because of this reason Thanks for Atatürk to give us a present like this.

4.       MaryEldar
0 posts
 07 Mar 2006 Tue 09:40 pm

Hello Janis!

Very nice your information!!
You always post very nice info!!
My country Childrens Day is on 30 april, but the childrens made parties, and receive gifts, candies and cakes.

I waaaaant go to Turkiyeeeeeee!!



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