April 23 National Sovereignty Day and Children’s Day is a unique holiday in the world, completely gifted to children and identified with them. However, the opening date of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, one of the most important symbols of our national sovereignty and independence. Our association, which was inaugurated exactly 103 years ago in lands where occupation, poverty and death were rampant, still represents the most important work of those who struggle for independence and liberation and still stand tall. So, what did the heroes, who gathered amidst all the difficulties and impossibilities on April 23, 1920, do so that the nation would shout to the whole world that Anatolia is the home of the free and upright people? Let’s see together what happened on April 23, 1920.
The most concrete step towards the Turkish Grand National Assembly, one of the most important symbols of the independence of the Turkish nation, was taken on March 19, 1920.
Mustafa Kemal Pasha issued a circular on March 19, 1920, upon the occupation of Istanbul on March 16. In a document dated March 19, Mustafa Kemal announced that an unusually authorized meeting would be held in Ankara. Because “the determination and decision of the nation will preserve the independence of the nation.” The determination and decision of the nation can only be shown in the independent assembly of the nation.
Mustafa Kemal, head of the delegation of deputies, stated in the circular issued on March 19 that “The council that will be given extraordinary national power to consider and implement measures that will ensure the independence of the nation and save the state, is called to a meeting in Ankara, and those of the disjointed deputies who can come to Ankara are requested to attend this assembly. He was saying
After this call, some “fugitive” elected representatives and disjointed Ottoman parliamentarians would come to Ankara and take their places in the first parliament.
All preparations for the National Assembly, which is the symbol of our national sovereignty, have been completed, and there is only a short time left for the opening of the Assembly.
However, the name of the council has not yet been decided. Shortly before the opening of the Assembly, the name of the Council was also discussed in one of the meetings led by Mustafa Kemal Pasha. Some have suggested that the name of the new assembly be “Congress”. Some insisted on the name “Meclis-i Kebir, while others proposed the name Assembly-i Müessisan, i.e. Assembly of the Founders. However, at the meeting, the name of the new assembly was decided upon as the “Grand Turkish National Assembly”…
So what happened on April 23, 1920?
After Friday prayers in the Haji Bayram mosque, the victims were sacrificed. The crowd, including the constituent elements of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, moved toward the club, which had already been built for the Committee of Union and Progress. Thus, on Friday, April 23, 1920, the Turkish Grand National Assembly opened.
Sinop deputy Arif Bey, the oldest member of parliament, delivered the opening speech
Sherif Bey said in his historic speech:I open the Grand National Assembly by declaring to the whole world that our nation has taken charge of its own destiny with complete internal and external independence, and has begun to govern itself.Use your expressions.
April 23, 1920 recorded in history the day when the Turkish Grand National Assembly, representing the will of the Turkish nation, was inaugurated, and the Turkish nation declared its sovereignty over the entire world.
With the successful conclusion of the national struggle and the following process, April 23rd was celebrated as a holiday under different names in different periods. However, in the end, thanks to the appreciation and efforts of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, it was given to the children and identified with the children. Thus, on April 23, the day when the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which is the embodiment of the will of the Turkish people through a stone wall, opened for the first time, entered history for the second time as the first and only Children’s Day in the world.
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