Cyprus, Nicosia

National Independence Day of Turkey and Children

Updated: 3 weeks ago

This Turkish holiday is considered official, and in Northern Cyprus—meaning it's not only widely celebrated but also a public holiday.

День национальной независимости Турции и детей

History of National Independence Day and Children

On this day, April 23, 1920, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established—the main legislative body of the country. This date was chosen as National Sovereignty Day.

What about the children? Mustafa Kemal Atatürk did not have biological children, but he had many adopted ones. One of them, Sabiha Gökçen, the first Turkish female aviator, has an airport in Istanbul named after her. Atatürk delivered a speech at the establishment of the Grand National Assembly, dedicated to children worldwide as a symbol of the future. He also dedicated the holiday to children when announcing National Sovereignty Day.

How it's Celebrated

In addition to the traditional concerts and theatrical performances in city squares, there's an interesting feature in Turkey. On this day, officials, ministers, and other high-ranking civil servants, including deputies of the Grand National Assembly, are replaced by children.

In Northern Cyprus, the tradition of replacing government officials with children in recent years has been replaced by children from various regions visiting government offices. Thus, in 2024, the delegation will include 5 students from Nicosia, 3 from Famagusta, 2 each from schools in Kyrenia, Güzelyurt, and İskele, and one student from Lefke. It is noteworthy that the celebration in the TRNC begins almost a week before the 23rd.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this the Republic Day of Turkey?

No, this holiday should not be confused with Republic Day, which is also celebrated on a large scale in Northern Cyprus. And it shouldn't be confused with the Republic Day of Northern Cyprus itself—these are all different holidays.

What other national holidays are there in Northern Cyprus?

In total, there are more than 10 national holidays in the TRNC, some of which, such as Eid al-Fitr, last for several days. We have compiled secular and religious events into an article aptly titled “National Holidays of Northern Cyprus.”

Follow ourInstagram and Telegram channels, learn everything useful about life on the island!

Do you need a consultation?