The Turkish nation marks National Sovereignty and Children’s Day on Tuesday with celebrations held throughout Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC).
Colorful ceremonies at every school are expected to take place across the country to mark the day. But unlike previous years, ceremonies at stadiums will not take place at the request of parents as they spend too much time and energy on preparing them. Ceremonies will also be held at Turkey’s foreign representative offices. Early in the day, high-level state officials led by Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey.
Çiçek was accompanied by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and several ministers, as well as officials from various political parties, deputies and parliamentary personnel. Çiçek laid a wreath at Atatürk’s mausoleum, observed a minute of silence, sang the Turkish national anthem and signed the visitors’ book.
As in previous years, it is also expected that Prime Minister Erdoğan will receive children at his official residence and symbolically turn over his position to primary school students while they visit.
Every year on this date, children from all over the world are invited to Turkey to join in the festivities in the hope that such celebrations will contribute to a future of enhanced brotherhood and peace among different nations. The president, prime minister, Cabinet ministers and provincial governors all symbolically turn over their positions to children. Children also replace deputies in Parliament and hold a special session to discuss children’s issues.