National Holiday Celebrations with US Travelers – 19 May 2010
National Holidays in Turkey
From the nationalistic point of view, National Holidays are important days because they give people the opportunity to feel and exhibit national unity. On these days all ceremonial activities are carried out by official institutions, such as schools, state organizations or military forces; people join in with these activities. Preparations in schools or military places start a few weeks before with rehearsals for performances. Students and others who take part in the parades or shows are smartly and colorfully dressed. Following the parades there are ceremonies in halls, stadiums or school courtyards. Poems are recited and speeches are given, followed by fireworks or cannon shots.
National Independence and Children’s Day (April 23)
On this date in 1920 the Turkish Grand National Assembly was established in Ankara by Mustafa Kemal. As this was the written record of the transition from a religious community to a nation, this date was designated as a national holiday. Since 1929 it has been declared as the first Children’s Day in the World by Kemal Ataturk, acknowledging the importance of children in the future of nations.
Atatürk Commemoration, Youth and Sports Day (May 19)
On this date in 1919, Mustafa Kemal first set foot on Anatolia at the Black Sea port of Samsun. This marks the beginning of his organization of the nationalist forces before the Independence War.
Victory Day (August 30)
On this date in 1922, the fifth day of the big attack against the invading Greek troops, the Dumlupınar Battle under the command of Mustafa Kemal was won and determined the outcome of the Independence War. This big attack ended in Izmir with the defeat of the Greeks on September 9.
Republic Day (October 29)
The Republic of Turkey was proclaimed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1923.