National Sovereignty And Children’s Day
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day is a national holiday that’s observed on April 23rd every year in Turkey. Also known as 23 Nisan, or Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı in Turkish, this day commemorates the opening of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1920 at Ankara.
The National Assembly met in Ankara to lay the foundation of the new Turkish Republic before the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Since it’s a public holiday in Turkey, it’s a day off for the general population and many government buildings and businesses are closed on this day.
The History Of National Sovereignty And Children’s Day
During the war of Independence in Turkey, the Grand National Assembly met in Ankara on April 23, 1920, to work out the details for the new Turkish Republic that would be created after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. In 1921, this day was proclaimed to be a national holiday—which made it the first official holiday of the new republic. Back in those days, however, it was only known as National Sovereignty Day.
It wouldn’t be until 1927 that it would also become Children’s Day. This is when the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, dedicated the day to the children of Turkey. This was done to show how the children of the country are indeed the future of the republic. In 1979, this holiday has been recognized internationally by UNICEF.
Observing National Sovereignty And Children’s Day
On this day, Turkey has hosted thousands of children from over 150 different countries. School children also take part in performances during the week of this holiday and these performances include singing and dancing.
A tradition that’s been observed since 1933 is allowing school children to replace the normal members of the Grand National Assembly and hold a special session. Since this is a public holiday, it’s also customary for many government offices, schools and businesses to be closed on this day.