Turkey observes the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day every year on April 23 and 2020 will mark the centenary of the inauguration of its Grand National Assembly in Ankara which in 1920 during the War of Independence, laying the foundations for an independent, secular and modern republic.

The April 23 celebrations focus on children after the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, dedicated the day to children as the nation’s future.

This unique and very special international celebration would, under normal circumstances, be celebrated with events held all around the country, as you can see from the featured photograph.

International Children’s Day: celebrating from home

This year, the measures in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus, mean the children of Turkey will celebrate from their homes.

The children of Fethiye are celebrating together by decorating the balconies of their homes and Fethiye Municipality is holding a “Balcony Decoration Contest” for the most beautiful balcony.

International Children's Day: an alternative celebration

Balconies adorned with Turkish flags, balloons and flowers can be seen everywhere and children are drawing pictures and making video clips with “23 April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, Stay home in Turkey” as the theme.

A “Dolphin Team” surprise for a student in Taşyaka

One elementary school student in the Taşyaka District of Fethiye had a lovely surprise.

Parents of another student, who knew that the financial situation of the family wouldn’t allow them to decorate the balcony of their house, reported it to police teams.

On receiving the information, the dolphin team affiliated to the District Police Department, went to the house in Taşyaka and decorated the balcony with items they bought with money they had collected.

The Police teams, on discovering the family didn’t have internet in their home, recorded a video of the student reading poetry on the balcony, and sent it to the class teacher.

International Children's Day: an alternative celebration
International Children's Day: an alternative celebration
International Children's Day: an alternative celebration

The children from Fethiye have also been celebrating by singing from their homes.

Video courtesy of Fethiye Belediyesi

ÇOCUKLAR, SİZ BİZİM GELECEĞİMİZSİNİZ!Fethiye'den çocuklarımız, 23 Nisan için hep birlikte evlerinden şarkı söylediler ve rengarenk görüntüler ortaya çıktı. Yürekleri tertemiz çocuklarımızın seslerine kulak verelim: Bir dünya bırakalım çocuklara, ıslanmış olmasın gözyaşlarıyla.23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı'nın 100. yılı kutlu olsun! 🇹🇷👦👩

Posted by Fethiye Belediyesi on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

We would like to wish a happy International Children’s Day to children everywhere.

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