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National Sovereignty and Children’s Day 2019

For one day a year, kids are allowed to sit in parliament and rule the Turkish Republic

National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Istanbul - Best Time
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© Recep Ergin

On the day of National Sovereignty, Turkish kids occupy seats in the state parliament, and symbolically rule the country. Children create their own election programs, and a young president is elected for one day to deliver a speech on national television. Later on, official parades take place throughout the city's streets. In the evening, various contests are held among the young competitors, and finally, children receive presents.

National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Istanbul - Best Season

Turks celebrate their official state holiday on the 23rd of April, commemorating events which took place during the Turkish War for Independence of 1919–1923. In particular, the country celebrates the first Turkish Grand National Assembly, founded on the 23rd of April, 1920. The long-reigning Ottoman Empire was eventually defeated in the First World War, and the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, dedicated the new state to the children, hence the tradition of the Children's Day celebration, which coincides with the National Sovereignty Day. Since 1979, the holiday has gained international status and interest.

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