By Fuat Kabakci
Turkey’s National Sovereignty and Children’s Day -- observed every year on April 23 -- was celebrated in the Chinese capital Beijing on Sunday.
The Turkish public holiday was marked in the Turkish Embassy in Beijing by Turkish and Chinese children alike.
The event featured a tea ceremony, a flute recital, and a performance by the Beijing Opera.
Emin Onen Abdulkadir, Turkey’s ambassador in Beijing, said he was happy to see Turkish and Chinese children meet at the event.
Onen said April 23 carries a special significance for the Republic of Turkey.
"April 23 is a very important touchstone on the way of the national struggle for national sovereignty. April 23 is the day the Turkish parliament was founded," he added.
Onen also said China has declared 2018 the Year of Turkish Tourism and that he hopes the two countries' relations will develop this year.
The day was also celebrated at the Turkish Embassy in Rome by Turkish families. Children attended the event wearing clothes in red and white colors.
Also, Turkish and Romanian children attended celebrations at Turkey's Embassy in Bucharest. There was singing and dancing and poetry recitals.
The Turkish Embassy in Islamabad hosted an event in which many Pakistani children participated.
In Serbia's Sanjak and Tutin towns, where the Bosniak population lives, the day was marked. In one such event, school equipment was distributed to 1,500 children by Istanbul's Bayrampasa Municipality.
Nearly 10,000 people attended celebrations in the Swedish capital Stockholm organized by the Turkish Youth Association of Sweden.
Turkey’s ambassador in Stockholm Emre Yunt spoke at the event in Kungstradgarden Park, where Turkish and Swedish musicians held a concert.
The Turkish Embassy in Australian capital Canberra also organized a program where Turkish children danced to folk music.
The Turkish Embassy and its school organized a joint event in Uzbek capital Tashkent with South Korean, Iranian, and British schools, Music and Arts school, the Turkish National Cultural Center, and Azerbaijan’s Culture Center.
Turkey's Embassy in Tbilisi held a concert with performances by the students of TMV Tbilisi School and the Georgian Folk Dance Ensemble.
On Monday, Turkey is set to celebrate this year's National Sovereignty and Children’s Day as well as the 98th anniversary of the foundation of parliament.
In Turkey the holiday is marked by a festival for children, and public offices, schools, and the private sector also hold programs.
The April 23 celebrations focus on children after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of Republic of Turkey, dedicated the day to children as the nation’s future.
The parliament or Grand National Assembly met for the first time in Ankara in 1920 during the War of Independence to lay the foundations for an independent, secular and modern republic.