The Enthusiasm of April 23 Transcends Borders


Our joy of marking 23 April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day, which represents the will of the Turkish nation and the sovereignty of the people, has been shared by thousands of children all around the world.

The founder of the Republic of Turkey, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, designated this day as a festival for the children as an expression of his trust in Turkish children, and he also shared it with the children of the world. April 23 Children's Day is the first and only festival gifted to children, and on this day, children had fun to their hearts' content, recalling the importance of friendship and peace once again.

The events organized by our country's representation offices and our Institute's branches abroad were full of vivid images.

"7th Traditional Children's Festival" marked in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The "Traditional Children's Festival" festivities, bringing together the students from our Institute's "My Choice is Turkish" project for the seventh time, were held at Zenica Arena, one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's largest venues, with the participation of 6,000 students.

During the program, hosted by Yunus Emre Institute's Sarajevo Branch on Thursday, April 25, renowned Bosnian singer Dzenan Loncarevic took the stage. Selçuklu Municipality's children folk dances group performed folk dances, and the Children Mehteran Band, again from Selçuklu Municipality, gave a mini concept during the event. The festival's program featured colorful performances by wizards and acrobats, and the meaningful presents sent from various institutions, organizations and municipalities in Turkey were distributed to all students.

A first in Serbia

Our Institute brought together the children aged between 6 and 15 in NoviPazar on Sunday, April 21, as part of the "Children's Festival in Serbia" event, and organized an activity in Decji Kulturni Centar, linked to Serbia's state-owned TV station RTS and the Stari Grad municipality, on April 23, 2019.

During the program which saw the first marking of April 23 in Serbia, the children had fun with Turkish and Serbian songs and accompanied the folk dance performances. In the event, Belgrade's popular children's group Group Lira took the stage as well. After Group Lira, Katarina Gluşica, a student from Zemun Sonja Marinkovic Primary School, took the stage and her song was a big hit among the audience.

In the common vocabulary event, held to discover the word common to both countries, within the scope of the program prepared by Yunus Emre Institute's Belgrade Branch, the children had a chance to explore intercultural interaction, and they were given gifts bearing the cultural and artistic characteristics of our country.

Karagöz and Hacivat talks about the festival

The Turkish culture was promoted with "Karagöz" at the celebration program prepared by Yunus Emre Institute's Washington DC Branch for the students of state schools in Washington, the capital of the Unites States. During the program held for the students from Thomson and HD Cooke Elementary School, Hacivat, Karagöz and Bebe Ruhi characters were played by the members of the Turkish-American Arts Society of New York.

The kids in Lahore, Pakistan, met the traditional "Karagöz" shadow player and had fun to their hearts' content between April 22 and 24, 2019.

The event was held for the students of Learning Alliance School and their parents and it was staged for the students and academics at the University of Lahore's theater with seats for 60,000 students.

In Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, the Turkish Folk Dances course's children's group and the "Karagöz and Hacivat" shadow play took the stage at the Embassy building on April 25. During the event featuring animators and face painting artists, the kids were given various gifts.

Emphasis on friendship in Russia

In the festivities organized by Yunus Emre Institute's Moscow Branch on Sunday, April 21, the children marked the festival by singing songs in both languages and reciting poems and having fun. The program was colored with diverse games and the kids who participated in the art contest were given rewards.

The contest participants were presented with certificates and the winners received their prizes from Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Moscow Mehmet Samsara.

Children competed in Turkish in Kiev

The festivities in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, were hosted by the Turkish embassy in Kiev. During the program organized in cooperation with Yunus Emre Institute's Kiev Branch, the students from Kiev Number One Eastern Languages High School, who ranked at the top in the Turkish language contest, were presented their gifts. The event was attended by the Turkish diaspora in Ukraine and Ukrainian, and featured songs, poems and dance performances.

Double celebration in Kabul

The activities in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, were held at Kabul State Orphanage. The program organized by Yunus Emre Institute's Kabul Branch with the participation of the children staying in the orphanage, featured a musical performance, reading poems and letters, circus, sports contests and face painting activities for kids. The program ended with the cutting the cake and presenting gift to children. As April 23 is marked as the Book Day in Kabul, and the books donated by book lovers were gifted to children.

Traditional Turkish games in Egypt

The festivities in Egypt were held at the residence of the Turkish embassy in Cairo. In the program prepared by Yunus Emre Institute's Cairo Branch, Turkish and Egyptian children read poems and sang songs and traditional Turkish games were staged. The April 23 program was enriched with numerous events such as animation shows and face painting activities, reflecting the enthusiasm of love and peace.

4th year of festivities in Vienna

During the fourth instance of the festivities held to mark April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day, Yunus Emre Institute's Vienna Branch organized a felt making workshop with the theme of "Make your own bag." In the workshop supervised by painter, illustrator and felt artist Cansu Kaykaç Yakın, the children aged between 7 and 14 designed their own bags.

Proceeds of the festival in Japan to be donated to kids

The traditional fund-raising event and children's festival were held this year as well. The event, organized at the embassy building in Tokyo, was attended by approximately 3,000 people. In the festival, 400 kids, including those coming from Nagoya, sang Turkish songs and played games. The Turkish delicacies and souvenirs were offered to the participants. The proceeds will be donated to the needy children.

Children's Festival in Zagreb and Amman

The first leg of the "Children's Festival" events organized by Yunus Emre Institute in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Turkey and Ankara University's Children Culture Implementation and Research Center, was held in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. The festival offered a host of diverse activities full of fun including traditional street games and art workshops for the children aged between 6 and 15, away from the digital world.

In the events held in Amman between April 20 and 21, 2019, the kids learned many games from the master students such as spinning top, mask painting, kite making, spoon doll making, bag printing, and windmill making.

The kids enjoyed playing with their own handmade toys in the festival which called on children to "go out" and sought to teach them the games in which they can use their hand skills.