President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday wished youngsters a happy April 23 Children's Day and congratulated the Turkish Parliament on the 100th anniversary of its foundation.
"I congratulate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish parliament, and the Children's Day of all children in Turkey and around the world," Erdoğan said on Twitter.
In a video message, Erdoğan also addressed children, saying: "In a world darkened by wars, conflicts and hunger, one thing that makes the world beautiful is the smile of a child. You are our future and our hope."
"You will be the artists, politicians, scientists, teachers of the future. You will build a fairer world. I congratulate your day once more, and commemorate Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who gifted this day to our children," he said.
Meanwhile, senior government officials and politicians under the chairmanship of Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop attended a ceremony held at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey.
Vice President Fuat Oktay, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and Good Party (İP) leader Meral Akşener also attended the ceremony.
After leaving a wreath at the mausoleum, the board observed a moment of silence and sang the National Anthem. The event was kept limited as a precaution against the novel coronavirus, with participants donning face masks.
Turkey marks April 23, Parliament's opening anniversary, as a festival for children, while public offices, schools and citizens also hold programs.
The celebrations have been dedicated to children since the early days of the country at Atatürk’s instruction.
The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) met for the first time in Ankara in 1920 during the War of Independence to lay the foundations for an independent, secular and modern republic.
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