April 23 national sovereignty and children’s day in Turkiye

Slider Visit Alanya Editorial

On every 23rd of April, our hearts beat faster.

When we were kids, we eagerly awaited the arrival of April 23rd because it was our festival, dedicated to us by Atatürk. On this day, children from all over the world would come to Turkey to showcase their talents and performances. Halit Kıvanc would host the event, and each country would exhibit their unique performances. It was truly amazing to see such a diverse display of talent.

“We used to read poems.”

23 Nisan, Neşe doluyor insan..

And songs…

23 Nisan Kutlu olsun.. Sevinin çocuklar övünün çocuklar…

Everywhere red and white flags..

One of the most exciting things about spring is the blooming of daisy flowers in April. As children, we used to make flower garlands to frame Atatürk’s images.

It was pure love..

National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, also known as “23 Nisan,” is a Turkish national holiday celebrated every year on April 23rd. The day commemorates the opening of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara in 1920. This event holds great significance as it marked the establishment of the assembly that played a crucial role in shaping the new, independent, secular, and modern republic after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Since 1927, this day has also been celebrated as Children’s Day, making Turkey the first country to officially declare it as a national holiday.

During the celebrations, schools organize week-long ceremonies with performances in various fields, and students decorate their classrooms with flags, balloons, and handmade ornaments. Children and politicians visit Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and on this special day, children replace state officials and high-ranking civil servants in their offices in a purely ceremonial exercise.

What are some things to do in Turkey on April 23rd?

April 23rd in Turkey is a vibrant and festive day, celebrating both National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. Here are some wonderful ways to participate in the festivities:

  1. Attend Parades and Ceremonies: Cities across Turkey organize parades, concerts, and ceremonies. Check local listings for events happening in your area. The main parade in Ankara takes place at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It’s a solemn yet inspiring experience.
  2. Visit Historical Sites: Discover historical landmarks related to the founding of the Grand National Assembly, such as Anıtkabir and the Atatürk Museum..
  3. Decorate Your Home or School: Get creative! Decorate your home, classroom, or workplace with Turkish flags, balloons, and colourful artwork. Involve children in making crafts and drawings to celebrate the day.
  4. Learn About Turkish History and Culture: Take some time to learn about the significance of April 23rd in Turkish history. Discuss with your friends and family to deepen your understanding.

Who decided to celebrate Children’s Day on April 23rd in Turkey?

April 23rd is a significant day in Turkey as it celebrates both National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. The day holds great historical importance, which I would like to share with you:

National Sovereignty Day:

On May 2nd, 1921, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey declared April 23rd as “National Sovereignty Day.” This marked the beginning of the Assembly and symbolized the rejection of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed VI’s government. During the War of Independence, the Assembly convened in Ankara, where it laid the foundation for a new, independent, secular, and modern republic, rising from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. After the defeat of the Allied invasion forces on September 9th, 1922, and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on July 24th, 1923, Turkey began establishing its state institutions.

Children’s Day:

Since 1927, April 23rd has been celebrated as Children’s Day in Turkey. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, dedicated this day to the children of the country, emphasizing that they are the future of the new nation. In 1981, the holiday was officially named “National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.”

Is the 23rd a working day in Turkey?

April 23rd is not a working day in Turkey. “National Sovereignty and Children’s Day” is a significant national holiday in which schools, government offices, and most businesses remain closed so that people can take part in festivities and ceremonies. It is an opportunity to reflect, celebrate, and pay tribute to the history of the country and its future generations.”

Dr. Yakup Uslu

Editorial – Visit Alanya

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