On Monday, Turkey celebrated National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, the anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Parliament.

The country celebrates the establishment of parliament with National Sovereignty and Children’s Day on April 23 every year, as it was bestowed by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, at the opening ceremony of parliament.

Although Sovereignty Day is being marked for the 98th time this year, it was 1979 when the day started to be called “International Children’s Day” and since its first year, Turkey has hosted thousands of children from 150 different countries over 39 years.

Because Atatürk dedicated the Turkish Republic to children, Turkish schoolchildren take seats in Parliament or local Government offices for the day and symbolically govern the country.

Millions of children throughout Turkey celebrate with dances and celebrations.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

Fethiye celebrates Children’s Day

Have a look at some of the celebrations that went on in and around Fethiye.

What would you do if you were the Deputy Mayor?

Students from Yunus Nadi Primary School visited the Deputy Mayor, Mete Atay, in his offices in Fethiye of Friday. Each took a turn sitting in his chair and talking about what they would do if they were Deputy Mayor.

Emma Özturk said “I will give more space for science and art in the Municipal Culture Center.  In school, we have to eat cold food from home. It would be better if every state school had a dining hall built. I would like to direct young people towards sport more. There used to be a trampoline in Fethiye but it was removed. I would like to have another one or similar activity areas where we can use our energy. If the ancient theatre is opened again, it will be good for Fethiye to perform opera or ceremony-like activities there”

Following the visit, Mete Atay, attending the ceremony organized by teachers and student groups from Fethiye, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

He said “For the last 50 years, Children’s Day has been celebrated internationally in our country. This year, you have made our festival a colourful and full of joy”

A vibrant and lively event at Erasta Shopping Centre

Erasta shopping centre was the venue for a series of vibrant and lively events over the weekend.

Fethiye Music School opened the celebration…

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

Turkey has a rich tradition of folk dancing with dances performed at many social occasions and the colourfully dressed children from Fethiye Gazi İlkokulu gave the audience a real treat with their striking performance.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

Children’s Day at Erasta Shopping Centre – 22 April 2017 from Lyn Ward on Vimeo.

Fethiye Times went along to Kabaağaç School with Süleyman Akbay, owner of Oceanwide Properties, who is heading up a project to provide the school with a new kitchen and dining area.

A day of celebration and fun at Kabaağaç School

Schoolchildren all over the world love an opportunity to get out of school uniform and have a day of celebration and the teachers and pupils of Kabaağaç First School are no exception. They celebrated Children’s Day with dance performances, readings, games and a hilarious comic sketch performed by two of the pupils.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

Children’s Day at Kabaağaç School – 23 April 2018 from Lyn Ward on Vimeo.

Fethiye – celebrations with an International flair

To start celebrations in Fethiye, Fethiye Mayor, Behçet Saatçı and Fethiye Governor, Muzzafer Şahiner, along with children from visiting countries, marched from Özgecan Arslan Park to Beşkaza town square, where the main events took place.

Thank you to Narman Clark for going along and taking photographs 

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

National Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joyNational Sovereignty and Children's Day - Fethiye celebrates with color and joy

We hope you enjoyed National Sovereignty and Children’s Day as much as we did…

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