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National Sovereignty, Children's Day

Discover Turkey, home of National Sovereignty and Children's Day


23 April, World Children's Day

National Sovereignty and Children's Day is held on April 23 each year. Solemn ceremonies and children's dance festivals take place throughout Turkey on this day. Ataturk dedicated the Turkish Republic to children.

23 April, Children's Day

National Sovereignty and Children's Day is one of the most unique festivals in the world just dedicated to children. This day is annually celebrated as national festival on April 23.

Children take seats in the Turkish Parliament and symbolically govern the country for one day. Several festivals take place throughout the country for children. Children, aged eight to 14, from different countries around the world, stay with Turkish families for a week and participate in children's festivals, which culminate is a gala performance on April 23.

Background of the Feast

23 April was proclaimed a national holiday in 1921. The founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, dedicated 23 April to the children of Turkey to recognise that children are the future of the nation. Since 1927 it has also become Children's Day. In 1979, UNICEF recognised this important national day as an international event and world children's day.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day is an official holiday in Turkey. Schools, government offices and most businesses are closed on this day.

The symbols of the National Sovereignty and Children's Day in Turkey;

  • A globe or a circle, symbolizing the world
  • A group of children holding hands, symbolizing unity
  • The Turkish flag, symbolizing Turkish statehood
  • Ceremony at the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara
  • Schoolchildren symbolically govern the country

23 April World Children's Day in Turkey

World Children's Day, Ankara