Festive crowds gather annually at Türkiye's founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's mausoleum, Anitkabir, to observe the holiday. (AA)  

Each year on April 23, Türkiye celebrates its National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, which marks the anniversary of the foundation of the country’s parliament in 1920.

National Education Minister Mahmut Ozer kicked off the day by accompanying a group of children on a visit to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, in the capital Ankara on Sunday.

The Turkish nation has full “faith and confidence… in our children, to whom we will entrust our holy homeland,” he said, speaking at Anitkabir.

Ozer also praised Ataturk and the Turkish parliamentarians who led the country’s War of Independence.

The Turkish 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.

National Sovereignty and Children’s Day is also celebrated with special events at public offices, schools and in the private sector. (AA)

The Grand National Assembly held its special children's session, during which dozens of children took parliamentarians' seats.

This year, most of the participating children were from Türkiye's quake-hit areas in memory of the devastating February 6 earthquakes that jolted the country's south.

Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop handed over his seat to Medine Karakışla, a 5th grade student from quake-hit Hatay. (AA)

The National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Türkiye is marked by a festival for children to commemorate the country's founding father Ataturk's dedication of the day to children - the future of the country.

The day is also celebrated with special events at public offices, schools, and in the private sector.

TRT held its 45th Children's Festival, attended by children from Türkiye and around the world who recited poems and performed dances in their traditional clothes. The event was dedicated to quake-affected children. (AA)

Vice President Fuat Oktay and other government officials also visited Ataturk’s mausoleum.

“I sincerely congratulate the 103rd anniversary of the establishment of our Turkish Grand National Assembly and the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day of our children," he said in a tweet.

Oktay emphasised that children "are the guarantee of our future," and commemorated "with gratitude all the heroes of our national struggle, especially Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.”

Schools all around Türkiye mark the day with colourful performances by children, while other events such as theatres or concerts are also staged around the country to entertain children. (AA)

First Lady Emine Erdogan also issued a statement on Twitter.

“The hope of Türkiye, who will proudly fly our noble flag for centuries, is our children," she said.

"I wish the excitement in their eyes and the determination to succeed in their hearts never diminishes, and I embrace each of them with love.”

A celebration event was held for children who were displaced by the earthquakes in Hatay's Defne district. (AA)
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