Turkey celebrates Sovereignty Day, Children’s Day on April 23
AA PhotoTurkey commemorates National Sovereignty Day and Children’s Day on April 23, the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish parliament, with several ceremonies across the country.
The day is celebrated as a children’s festival because children were awarded a special place in the April 23 festivities by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey.
“Our aim is to realize the children’s dream of a world with peace and brotherhood,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 22, adding the “smiling faces, bright eyes and hopes and dreams of children” keep Turkey strong.
Official ceremonies were held at parliament, the former parliament building and Anıtkabir, Atatürk’s mausoleum in Ankara early April 23.
The General Assembly was scheduled to hold a special session at parliament at 2 p.m. under the chairmanship of Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy group leader İdris Baluken, Anatolia Party leader Emine Ülker Tarhan and Electronic Democracy Party leader Emrehan Halıcı are expected to give speeches.
Çiçek and his wife are also set to host a reception in parliament’s Honor Hall.
Many people across the country are expected to mark April 23, with some schools organizing celebrations.
People are expected to flock to Cumhuriyet Square in the western province of İzmir. Even in hospitals, children will celebrate Children’s Day.
On April 22, the U.S. base in İncirlik and Turkish military bases jointly celebrated National Sovereignty Day and Children’s Day.