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Children are the adults of tomorrow and Turkey celebrates its children with National Sovereignty and Children's Day on April 23 each year in a flurry of colorful ceremonies and festivals.
Marking the foundation of Parliament on April 23, 1920, during the Turkish War of Independence, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, named this day as Children's Day to emphasize that children are the future of a nation.
For this unique festival, the president, the prime minister, Cabinet ministers and provincial governors all turned over their positions to children's representatives who in turn signed executive orders relating to educational and environmental policies.
Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu received a group of children at Çankaya Palace, where they followed the annual tradition of taking the seats of Cabinet ministers.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also welcomed children to the presidental palace. "The most important national holiday was consigned to you," he told them.
The children also replaced the deputies in Parliament and held a special session to discuss matters concerning children's issues.
Senior politicians, including PM Davutoğu, Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman, Republican People's Party (MHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, visited the mausoleum of the republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Ankara.
"Our aim is to preserve our people's independence, state's sovereignty and move beyond level of contemporary civilization," Kahraman wrote in the mausoleum's memorial book.
2016.04.23 / 16:55