'Mark National Sovereignty and Children’s Day at home'

Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop says public celebrations suspended due to coronavirus pandemic

Emin Avundukluoglu   | 22.04.2020
'Mark National Sovereignty and Children’s Day at home'


The speaker of Turkey's parliament has called on the public to observe centenary celebrations of the Turkish Grand National Assembly at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"I hope to see all our citizens enthusiastically taking part in celebrations from home," Mustafa Sentop said on Wednesday.

He urged the public to sing the Istiklal Marsi, the country's national anthem, on Thursday at 9.00 p.m. (GMT1800) from their balconies and windows.

"Let's show our love to independence and liberty by singing our independence anthem in a strong voice," he said.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day is a public holiday in Turkey commemorating the foundation of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on April 23, 1920. This year, it is the parliament's 100th anniversary.

The celebrations focus on children because Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, emphasized that children are the nation's future.

The assembly met for the first time in 1920 in Ankara, then the country’s future capital, during the War of Independence to lay the foundations for an independent, secular, and modern republic.

Sentop said public celebrations had been suspended due to the pandemic.

"We hope to continue the celebrations with more enthusiasm and excitement next year," he said.

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