Happy April 23, National Sovereignty and Children's Day!

April 23, National Sovereignty and Children's Day, entrusted to children by Atatürk, is a very special day arousing joy and enthusiasm not only in the hearts of children but also in the hearts of adults. Although the enthusiasm of the children's day comes to mind when it comes to April 23, this glorious day is also very important in that it falls on the date of foundation of Turkish Grand National Assembly.

The Turkish Grand National Assembly was inaugurated on April 23, 1920, and parliament members were appointed and invited to Ankara. The parliamentary elections were initiated upon the notice publication on March 19, 1920. Inauguration date of the Assembly was announced with the circular on April 21 and parliament members were invited to Ankara. And TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly) was inaugurated on April 23; only 115 out of 337 parliament members were able to attend the inauguration meeting.

23 April is the first national holiday of the country with a law enacted in 1921. In the first years, the words "national sovereignty" and "children" were not used. After abolishment of the sultanate on November 1, 1922, it was recognized under the name of National Sovereignty (Hakimiyet-i Milliye). In 1935, the legislation on holidays was amended, and the name National Holiday was replaced with the National Sovereignty Day.

This day veered off in a new direction on April 23, 1927, when the Children Protection Institution (Himaye-i Etfal Cemiyeti) declared this day as "Children's Day". Children Protection Institution (Himaye-i Etfal Cemiyeti) issued a stamp for this special day on April 23, 1923. The newspaper Hâkimiyet-i Milliye dated 1924 stated that April 23 is the day of Turkish children, and the same was also stated on April 23, 1926. Children Protection Institution (Himaye-i Etfal Cemiyeti) declared this day as Children's Day on April 23, 1927. In fact, the effort of the institution in this respect was about creating a source of income for orphans.

The first national holiday on April 23, 1927 was held under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and Mustafa Kemal allocated one of his own cars for the children.  In addition, he promoted the Presidential Band to give a concert. One of the premises of the institution in Ankara was given the name Children's Palace, and the children of Ismet Inonu also attended the children's ball held there.

This national day was put into the final form in 1981 and was named "National Sovereignty and Children's Day" by the National Security Council.

This special day was gifted to all children around the world by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey and first president of the Republic of Turkey.

April 23 is celebrated with joy by children in the spring, which falls on the arrival of spring. We wish to celebrate many national holidays with flags, ceremonial outfits, poems, anthems and the enthusiasm brought by the ideal set by Ataturk...

Happy April 23, National Sovereignty and Children's Day!

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  • Debra J. Cantu
  • 22-04-2021

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