Turkey marks National Sovereignty and Children’s Day
In the morning, ahead of the special session of parliament, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop, top government officials, and politicians attended a ceremony held at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Atatürk.
After Şentop left a wreath made of red and white carnations at the mausoleum, participants observed a moment of silence and sang the national anthem.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the April 23rd TRT Children’s Festival at Başakşehir Nation’s Garden in Istanbul.
President Erdoğan said: “Given the developments taking place in our near abroad, we are deeply saddened over the children living there. To our south, a tragedy is raging on in which tens of thousands of children have been killed, hundreds of thousands of children have been left an orphan, and tens of thousands of children have gone missing all across the world, particularly in Europe. To our north, we are worried to see that the war, which has already completed its second month, continues to inflict painful outcomes. I believe that during such times, we need, more t
han ever, the pure love in children’s hearts as well as their smile, cheer and touch which beautify our lives.”
Describing children as the primary source of Turkey’s motivation for efforts aimed at ceasing wars and ending crises as well as expanding the climate of security and peace, President Erdoğan stated: “Children’s ears should ring not with explosions but with their peers’ cheerful voices as is the case here right now. Children’s hearts should beat not with anxiety but with love, hope and enthusiasm. Children should sleep not in the claw of fear but in the arms of serenity. It is this conviction and this dream that lies behind the fact that April 23rd, the opening day of the Grand National Assembly in Ankara, and therefore the most critical milestone in our national struggle, was gifted to our children.”
To mark the day, most of the citizens hung Turkish flags from their houses’ balconies and many skyscrapers across Istanbul were decorated with giant Turkish flags, drawing the attention of many Istanbul residents.