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.

Photograph courtesy of fethiyehaber.com
Photograph courtesy of fethiyehaber.com

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.

Children from Azerbaijan – Photograph courtesy of fethiyehaber.com

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.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day
Dilek Dinçer, Behcet Saatcı, Ekrem Çalık & Veli San opening the event

This was followed by a performance from the FETAV Çocuk Korusu (FETAV Children’s Choir)

FETAV Çocuk Korusu – National Sovereignty & Children’s Day – 23 Nisan 2017 from fethiyetimes on Vimeo.

Thousands of people took part in the event.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day
The event was attended by an estimated 3,000 peple

Children dressed in colourful costumes.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day

Face painting and hats.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day

Stalls with gifts to give to the children

National Sovereignty and Children's Day
The English Learning House from Günlükbası

National Sovereignty and Children's Day

Colourful characters to have a photo taken with

National Sovereignty and Children's DayNational Sovereignty and Children's Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activities for the children to take part in

National Sovereignty and Children's Day

National Sovereignty and Children's Day

For the more adventurous

National Sovereignty and Children's Day

All this went on to a background of performances by local schools.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day

National Sovereignty and Children's Day

Here are a few more photographs from the day

If you missed the celebrations this year you can always come along in 2018.

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