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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Turkey Honours All Children Today

By Adelind Osmanlı reporting from Munich, Germany

Google Logo for the day

Every 23 April is International Children's Day in Turkey; schools close for major celebrations in which the United Nations participates. Many people consider this a day of peace and it is a national holiday.

International Children's Day is celebrated in numerous countries, usually on 1 June each year with Universal Children's Day celebrated on 20 November. The day is acknowledged for having its origin in Turkey in 1920 (23 April, 1920) and later in the "World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva", Switzerland in 1925. While different dates have been selected for the rest of the world, in the traditional home of the day, it is still celebrated on its original date declared nearly ninety years ago.

In honour of the news that Turkish superstar Tarkan will be taking part in 2008's Turkish International Children's Day celebrations, Tarkan Deluxe has decided to present its readers with some information about a day that sees Turkey annually honour the world's children, and where traditional roles are swapped and children govern the country for the day.

History of the Day for Children

This tradition lies in the history of the day, which was originally the date when the first Turkish Parliament was formed in 1920, three years before the Republic of Turkey was founded.

Mustafa Kemal AtatürkTurkish founder father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk decided to dedicate the day to children, because he believed that a country needed to invest in its young for a sovereign nation to have any hope for the future. As this holiday was started as a day to celebrate the sovereignty of the people and dedicated to children, it is also known as the National Sovereignty and Children's Day, and is often seen as symbolic of Atatürk bequeathing the country he founded to the nation's young.

After the day gained recognition by UNICEF in the late 1970s, celebrations began to take the form of huge international celebrations based in Turkey. Children and dignitaries from countries all over the world converge in the Turkish region of Antalya to celebrate and give each other gifts, with exchange students hosted by Turkish families. Turkish and foreign schools organise many projects over the school term to prepare for the day, which include cultural activities relating to their respective countries, promoting human unity and culture sharing.

Google logo for 2007Google has been celebrating the day in Turkey with an official Google holiday logo since 2007.

This year, other activities include Disney Channel's five-day program at Kanyon Mall in Istanbul from April 23-27 to celebrate the day and its first anniversary in Turkey.

TRT Organisations

Children Celebrating in Kusadasi, TurkeyTurkey is the only country in the world that celebrates an international day for children to such an extent and major celebrations are organized by the state broadcaster, TRT, which are aired live across the nation via the station's radio and TV channels.

To mark the TRT's 30th anniversary of organising the celebrations, previous news reports inform it will be the largest ever spanning over 10 days and 10 nights, between 16-26 April in Antalya, and hosting children from 39 countries.

Tarkan's official site prints news of the 23 April celebrationsTarkan is scheduled to give a performance on 23 April at the Glass Pyramid Sabancı Congress and Exhibition Center (Cam Piramit) starting at 20:00 (8 p.m.) local time, to be aired live on TRT, as confirmed by his official site yesterday.

The state broadcaster has been running TV promos about the concert for a few days, which can be viewed here.

UPDATE: Read about the performance here >>

Read more about: Turkish culture | Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

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