children’s day in turkey

on april 23, 1920, the grand national assembly
laid the foundations of a new, independent, secular, and modern republic
from the ashes of the ottoman empire.
atatürk dedicated april 23 to the children of turkey
to emphasize that they were the future of the new nation.
other nations send groups of children to turkey
to participate in the festivities and learn about each other’s cultures.
the official name of the holiday is
23 nisan ulusal egemenlik ve çocuk bayramı
or april 23 national sovereignty and children’s day

children's day turkey

now here’s the unofficial version from kayseri:
it was april 22
— earth day —
and we were making biscuits for breakfast.
when we heard music outside.
i also thought i saw a parade near the local school.
i was too curious to just look from afar.
so, instead of staying in our pajamas,
eating breakfast,
and then getting ready for a typical homeschool day,
we quickly got dressed,
but the biscuits and some pretzels in a bag
and headed out to see what what going on.

the music continued as
groups of people headed toward the school
with some children in costumes or traditional dress.
all of that just peaked our curiosity.

it turned out that the local school
was putting on an outside show
for national sovereignty and children’s day.
the national holiday is officially on saturday, 23 april,
but the school held the performances on the preceding friday.

we saw several dance performances
and a short play
that seemed funny even though i barely understood a word.
we left before the show was finished
because the girls were tired, hot and thirsty,
but we enjoyed experiencing another taste of turkey’s culture.

children's day turkey
dancing to hadise’s latest hit “dum tek tek”.

children's day turkey

children's day turkey

children's day turkey
curious girls looking at us instead of the performance

children's day turkey
belly dancers

children's day turkey

children's day turkey
representing several nations

children's day turkey
the crowd


2 thoughts on “children’s day in turkey

  1. Hi…love these pix of the children in
    costume. I do watercolour portraits and would
    love to use your photos as reference.
    Please see my site and search for
    “watercolours” to see examples
    of my work. They are mostly
    international portraits of mothers and children.

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