Posts tagged: turkey
April 23 is National Children’s Day – in Turkey, the only country in the world to dedicate a national holiday to children. The event was named in 1920 to commemorate the first gathering of the Grand National Assembly (the Turkish Parliament). The day honors Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Ataturk dedicated the Republic to children so each year children take part in political events: sitting in Parliament and symbolically leading the country.
Families observe the holiday with visits from children who come to Turkey from around the world. The visits are sponsored by the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) who brings children, aged eight to 14, to stay with families and participate in ceremonies and celebrations during their week-long stay.
With all our longing for world peace, perhaps Children’s Day is one happy step toward understanding and appreciating each other’s cultures. We are less likely to dismiss others when we know their faces and claim them as friends.
When the human spirit is filled with hope, miracles occur. The story today out of Turkey is welcome news after reading about all the death that the earthquake has left. A baby is alive and deemed healthy; her mother and grandmother pulled out alive, too. The country will set aside its usual hostility with countries like Israel and accept aid for its suffering citizens. Goodwill among enemies, a welcomed miracle.