İngilizcede 23 nisanın kısa tanıtımı
INTERNATIONAL 23rd APRIL CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
23rd April Children’s Festival is a children’s festival that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, bestowed to Turkish children and that has been celebrated among countries since 1979. The first celebration of it was held on April 23rd, 1920, when the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) was founded. It is organized so as to improve the feelings of fraternity, love and friendship among children and also to contribute to a world, where they will live in peace.
The greatest dream of Atatürk, who saved his country from occupations, realized revolutions in almost every field and thanks to this changed the point of view of his nation, was modernization, namely a country that has become industrialized, has a strong middle class and where modern people are dominant. He considered this important as democracy functions well in all modern countries that have a strong economy. Atatürk knew that industry was weak in the Republic he founded and therefore, he tried to achieve modernization through the revolution of education and thus entrusted Turkey to the children and young people. However, he knew that modernization could not be immediately achieved. So, he envisaged that his ideal could be achieved by children educated at schools depending on positive sciences. He believed in his people and he was a man who lived what he believed. This is the main philosophy of 23rdApril. As it can be seen now, educated young people who have improved themselves have made significant contributions to the modern Turkey. Turkey of today has developed in years and joined the group of modern countries.
When 1979 was declared as the World Children’s year by United Nations, Tekin Özertem, the director of children’s programs of TRT Ankara Television, and his assistant Canan Arısoy embarked on a project aiming at embracing all the children of the world. Upon the approval of the project by the TRT executives, organization work went underway. So the first celebration of TRT International 23rd April Children’s festival was performed in Turkey on April 23rd, 1979, with the participation of 5 other countries; USSR, Iraq, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria. Now, the celebration of TRT International 23rd April Children’s festival is performed with the participation of about 50 countries each year. The celebrations were performed in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, from 1979 to 2000. After this year together with Ankara some other major cities such as İzmir, İstanbul and Antalya also hosted the celebrations.
Nane Annan, who is the wife of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, took part in the celebration on April 23, 2000 as an honorary guest. Mrs. Annan was invited to deliver a speech. She said she was very happy to be in Turkey and participate in the celebrations, passing on her husband’s greetings. Mrs. Annan also invited the entire world to say “yes for all the wishes of children”. After this speech, “The common declaration of the children from 40 countries”, which was prepared by children in the international Children Committee held on April 18th, was read in English and Turkish. This declaration was presented to Nane Annan to pass it on to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Children aged between 8-14 participate in the international festival. The program covers the period between approximately April 16th and April 26th. Each country group is made up of an about 20 children and 6 leaders. Guests arrive in the cities where the organization will be held by April 15th. For each group TRT assigns a guide. Guides enable the coordination between the group leaders. Each group, through primary education schools, is housed by a host family with their peer Turkish friends in a warm and affectionate environment in the city where the festival is held. In this way, the children of the world recount the positive traits of Turkish people to their own families and friends when they return to their countries. This certainly makes Turkish people happy. The festival begins with a festival parade every year. In the procession children, in their national outfits, play their traditional music and dance on the largest street of the city. Later, guest countries perform outdoor shows in big parks, and unit with Turkish people. The festival week goes ahead with children’s visit to the mausoleum of Atatürk, the great leader who awarded this festival to children, in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. After this visit, children are accepted by the President of the Republic of Turkey, the President of Turkish National Grand Assembly, and the General Director of TRT.
On April 22nd all children participating in the festival come together for the rehearsal of the gala. On the big day, April 23rd, TRT 23rd April Children’s festival gala is performed. In the gala, which lasts about 4 hours and is broadcast live, all countries in their national outfits perform their 3- minute- national shows with their music to Turkish audience.
The gala goes ahead with the passing on the greetings that children have brought along from their countries, and ends with a collective hand-in-hand dancing of all the flowers of the world united with a peace sentiment accompanied by a universal song. On April 24th and 25th through a picnic and an excursion the friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood of all children reach the peak. These activities promote Turkey and contribute to the image of hospitable Turkish people. On April 26th now sad hours for children have come. Guest groups, bursting out with tears, begin to return to their countries, leaving behind their Turkish brothers / sisters but taking the peace and friendship with them. So an emotion flood, the festival week, comes to an end.