2011 Children’s Day in Fethiye

Yesterday was the 23rd of April; an important holiday in the Turkish calendar as it marks the anniversary of the inauguration of Turkey’s National Assembly on 23rd April 1920. Founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, later added Children’s Day to this already significant anniversary, declaring children as the future of Turkey.

This national holiday, known as Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı (National Sovereignty and Children’s Day) is celebrated all over Turkey with performances, folk dances and parades by children, not just from Turkey but from all over the world. This year, families in Fethiye are playing host to children from a school on the Isle of Wight in the UK as well as to children from numerous other countries. What a wonderful opportunity for those children! 

Turkish Flags in Fethiye
The Turkish flag was displayed all around Fethiye to commemorate National Sovereignty & Children’s Day

Last year, we walked into town to watch Children’s Day celebrations in Fethiye and were lucky enough to watch folk dancers from Greece and Turkey performing at the culture centre. This year, we weren’t so lucky. As we walked along Fethiye harbour, we knew we’d missed all the parades as we passed children in costumes walking along with their parents. Many were juggling drums, flags, ice-creams, snacks. We went to the culture centre to see what the timetable for the day was. A boxing ring was being erected. So, rather than seeing a folk dance performance, anyone who was in Fethiye in the evening will have seen members of Fethiye’s boxing cub displaying their skills instead. 

Of course, as this national holiday also celebrates the Turkish Republic, it’s also very much a vast display of Turkish flags. So, while we missed the children’s parades, we certainly couldn’t miss the flags. Government and public buildings were displaying huge Turkish flags (and still are today) while private homes had flags hanging from window frames, balconies and washing lines. Even if you’re not familiar with the dates of national holidays in Turkey, if you’re in the country when there is one, you’ll soon catch on to the fact – the flags will always let you know.

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  1. I love how proud & patriotic Turkish people are of their flag & country! Everywhere we go in Turkey you see the flag, even on days when there are no local or national celebrations. Other countries (IE: UK) couldshould take note.

  2. @ Alferet: We love it, too. Sadly, it’s just not the done thing in England – unless the football’s on, that is. The Scots and Welsh don’t mind a bit of flag flying – and why not?! 🙂

  3. Love all the flags…..when my husband went to visit his Mom in Izmir last year he also took pictures of flags all over the place…..at this time of year.
    Unfortunately in Canada here it is so diverse that we hardly see the Flag around which is sad.
    Thanks for sharing your photos.

  4. Oh, right!! Sounds like it was a lot of fun!!

  5. @ Erica: It is lovely to be able to see the flags flying everywhere. A shame it’s a similar situation in Canada than it is in the UK.

    @ Belinda: Not that we saw much of it – just the flags! 🙂

  6. A great post again, thanks. Just in case you might not know, it’s compulsory to have the flag on special days if you’re running a business. It’s illegal not to have one.

    And I’d like to remind to those who have Great Britain or England flag next to Turkish one, Turkish flag must me either heigher or bigger than other nations’ flags. Legally.

    Don’t wanna sound patriotic, just thought it’s useful to let you know.

  7. @ Fatoş: Why, thank you! 🙂 We never knew it was illegal for businesses not to have flags on national holidays. Cheers for the extra info. Also, thanks for putting it on here about flags from other nationalities. We did know that and maybe should have mentioned it in the post. You don’t sound patriotic – law is law. 🙂

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