A bit about National Sovereignty and Children’s Day?
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı) is a national holiday in Turkey, always celebrated on 23 April.
The holiday commemorates the first opening of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey at Ankara in 1920.
History of National Sovereignty and Children’s Day
On 23 April 1920, during the War of Independence, the Grand National Assembly met in Ankara to begin to lay the foundations of the new Turkish republic.
To mark the event, 23 April was proclaimed a national holiday in 1921.
The founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, dedicated 23 April to the children of Turkey to recognise that children are the future of the nation.
Since 1927 it has also become Children’s Day. In 1979, UNICEF recognised this important national day as an international event. – source officeholidays.com
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Fethiye
To mark National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, the children of Fethiye took part in celebrations, organised by FETAV, held at the town square, Beşkaza.
Fethiye Times went along to enjoy the celebrations and capture some of the moments from the day.
Wreath setting and a parade
The celebrations started with a wreath-setting ceremony in front of the Atatürk monument in Beşkaza Square.
Fethiye Mayor, Behçet Saatcı, children and parents, accompanied by the Fethiye Municipality Band, then marched from Özgecan Park, along the kordon, to Beşkaza.
They were joined by children from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan and Ukraine who later carried out folk games unique to their own countries.
The opening ceremony
The event at Beşkaza was opened by FETAV Director, Dilek Dinçer, Fethiye Mayor Behçet Saatci, District Governor Ekrem Çalık, and Chief Public Prosecutor of Fethiye, Veli San.
This was followed by a performance from the FETAV Çocuk Korusu (FETAV Children’s Choir)
Thousands of people took part in the event.
Children dressed in colourful costumes.
Face painting and hats.
Stalls with gifts to give to the children
Colourful characters to have a photo taken with
Activities for the children to take part in
For the more adventurous
All this went on to a background of performances by local schools.
Here are a few more photographs from the day
If you missed the celebrations this year you can always come along in 2018.