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How did the 23rd April National Sovereignty Day Identify with Children?

The world’s first and only children’s day, April 23, is the gift of the Great Leader Atatürk to children as an indicator of the love and value he showed to children… This holiday is one of the most important symbols of peace and love, as well as our national sovereignty. But how did the world’s first and only children’s holiday come about? Here is the process of declaring April 23, which is an important day not only for our country but for the whole world, as National Sovereignty and Children’s Day…

23rd April

Mustafa Kemal and his friends, who set out with the motto “Sovereignty belongs to the nation unconditionally”, were working with all their might to continue the National Struggle and bring the country to independence. An official governing body was necessary for the struggle to continue in a stronger and more determined manner. For this reason, a parliament independent of the Istanbul Government was opened on 23 April 1920. The name of the assembly convened in Ankara was determined as the Grand National Assembly. Mustafa Kemal was elected the first president of the parliament. Thus, one of the most important steps of the National Struggle was taken and the national will was manifested…

April 23 was originally celebrated as the National Sovereignty Day.

23rd April

The Turkish Grand National Assembly is one of the most important symbols of independence and sovereignty of the Turkish nation. For this reason, with a law prepared in 1921, 23 April, the opening day of the parliament, was accepted as the first national holiday of our country. However, in this first version of April 23, there was no reference to children or national sovereignty. This important date was included in the official documents as “23 April National Day”.

After the abolition of the sultanate in November 1922, 1 November was celebrated as National Sovereignty Day. However, in time, the date of November 1 was replaced by April 23, the date when the National Assembly was opened. Thus, April 23 was celebrated as the National Sovereignty Day. With the later law amendment, the original “23 April National Day” was renamed “National Domination Day”.

Himaye-i Etfal Society and the importance of “children” on April 23

23rd April

In 1921, the Himaye-i Etfal Society (Child Protection Institution) was opened in Ankara. The society aimed to help orphans and poor children. For this reason, especially when the 23rd April Festival was approaching, the society accelerated its aid campaigns. He was giving advertisements in various media organs and publishing articles in newspapers. This society, which works hard for poor children, did not escape the attention of Mustafa Kemal. Mustafa Kemal followed their work with appreciation… The Himaye-i Etfal Society organized important campaigns, especially during the National Domination Days. Thanks to Atatürk’s support for the works, the 23rd of April Day became commemorated with the children.

April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day

In 1927, Himaye-i Etfal Society wanted to carry out a more comprehensive and official study. For this reason, they named April 23 as “Children’s Day”. This situation was welcomed by Mustafa Kemal as well. Thus, in 1927, this special day was celebrated as “children’s day” for the first time, besides the national sovereignty day.

That year, Atatürk allocated one of his cars to the children for this holiday. In addition, he hosted the children in the Presidency. Students and children heavily participated in the celebrations in the city. Thanks to the efforts of the society and the support of Atatürk, this holiday became identified with children in the eyes of the public. The next 23 April was celebrated as the “Hâkimiyet-i Milliye ve Children’s Day” without an official name. On the other hand, with the official regulation made in 1981, this holiday was named “23 April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day”.

holiday of all children

April 23 was celebrated with the participation of children from different parts of the world, especially since the 1980s. Thus, the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, which emerged with the efforts of the Great Leader Atatürk and the Himaye-i Etfal Society, has become a common holiday for children of all languages ​​and colors and one of the symbols of world peace. As the ListeList team, we celebrate everyone’s National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, especially our children. We wish you happy holidays…

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