Children are the future of any nation and must therefore be cherished and nurtured. That was the view of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of modern Turkey who founded Children’s Day back in 1927. It grew out of National Sovereignty Day, established on 23 April 1923, which commemorated the country’s move from Sultanate rule to a Parliamentary system in the newly created Republic of Turkey.
Atatürk and his team of advisors were aware that there were many orphaned children in the country following the First World War and the War of Independence. Children’s Day became a way of giving all children an annual day of fun and also making them feel the centre of importance.
On 23 April 1933, Atatürk welcomed children to his Presidential office so they could experience a sense of civic duty and responsibility. The tradition continues until this very day, with state officials, including the Turkish Prime Minister, MPs and ambassadors, inviting children to visit and occupy their offices for one day.
Today in Turkey, the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, and across the Turkish Diaspora, many children are partaking in Children’s Day activities. Here in the UK, Turkish schools are celebrating the occasion with their annual variety show at Camden Town Hall, with dance, music and spoken word.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 21, 2017
One unexpected supporter of the day has been American tech giant Apple. On Friday, the company’s CEO Tim Cook tweeted in Turkish: Türkiye’de Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı’nı genç yeteneklerin çektiği müthiş fotoğraflarla kutluyoruz. #23Nisan #iPhoneileçekildi [We celebrate National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey with amazing photographs taken by young talents #ShotoniPhone]. The post has been liked over 20,000 times and re-tweeted by nearly 9,000 people.
For the past few years, the company has been running a ‘Shot on an iPhone’ competition globally. This year, children aged 8 to 12 years old in Turkey were also invited to capture the world around them with their iPhone, resulting in a host of colourful and often comic shots and clips.
The best ones were selected to be shared on billboards across Turkey, with short video clips created by Turkish children – Köpek by Eren P, Eşek by Melisa C, and Tavşan [Rabbit] and Balon both by Beliz E – added to Apple’s Turkish YouTube channel.