Turks in South Africa celebrate Children’s Day

img

Turks in South Africa celebrate Children’s Day

PRETORIA

Several Turkish children and their parents gathered Sunday at their embassy in the South African capital Pretoria to commemorate the National Sovereignty and Children's Day.

"We held our celebrations two days earlier because it is a Sunday and children are off from school. We wanted them to participate in the celebrations because next week they will be back to school," Elif Comoglu Ulgen, the Turkish ambassador in South Africa told Anadolu Agency.

The embassy organized several activities for the children including setting up inflatable jumping balloons, facing painting, and ebru art among others activities.

"This National Sovereignty and Children’s Day indicates an important milestone in the Turkish national history of the republic. It is the day when the Turkish Grand National Assembly was established in Ankara by [Mustafa Kemal] Ataturk,” She said.

Ulgen said Ataturk -- country's founding father -- dedicated the day to Turkish children as a gift because he knew the future lies with children.

"We gave the children a podium at the embassy to address us as politicians and world leaders. They expressed their views and were very excited,” She said.

In Turkey, the day is celebrated by schoolchildren taking seats in the Parliament for the day and symbolically governing the country.

They elect a president who then addresses the country on national television. Children’s festivals take place throughout the country.

Ulgen said each year Turkey hosts an international children’s festival and invites a lot of children from around the world.

"This year we have a group from Swaziland traveling to Turkey, they will participate in a lot of local celebrations that will be held there," she said in an interview at the embassy.