H.E. Abdullah Gül’s Message on the April 23rd National Sovereignty and Children’s Day

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“My fellow citizens and dear children,

We celebrate the 94th anniversary of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), National Sovereignty and Children’s Day with elation. We are proud of our glorious history and our forefathers who left this beautiful country to us.

I hereby extend my love and best wishes to you all and I am happy to share the joy and elation of our children who are all our future.

With the struggle of independence carried out under the leadership of the great leader Atatürk, it was aimed that sovereignty would belong to the nation unconditionally and the nation would enjoy an administration system in which it could live independently and freely in union and solidarity.

The opening of the TBMM on April 23, 1920 became a historic step that shaped our future in this process and the most important turning point that enabled the principle of national sovereignty come into existence. The TBMM is a unique work which Atatürk’s farsightedness and our nation’s resoluteness to protect its sovereignty and independence created.

The decision which was declared in the Amasya Circular, “The nation’s resoluteness and decision will restore the nation’s independence” in other words, such decisions as national sovereignty and national will served as the fundamental fulcrum of the TBMM and the Republic of Turkey.

The TBMM, which is the manifestation of the national will, brought our nation together with common ideals and fulfilled the responsibility that it assumed in the extraordinary times, which our country was going through. Enabling our nation to win the War of Independence and to establish the Republic of Turkey, the TBMM implemented great reforms as per the will of the nation and it has a prestigious position among other parliaments in the world. It is the hearth of our independence and foundation in this regard. It is also a sanctuary of our democracy and the only roof under which problems are discussed and resolutions are found.

Since the declaration of the foundation of the Republic, Turkey has reached countless accomplishments and made considerable progress on the path toward integrating the country with the modern world, bringing the nation together with universal values and providing it with prosperity. It goes without saying that the TBMM’s decisions which illuminate our future have an important role toward our aim to raise the standards of our country to the levels of the modern civilizations.

Turkey today is a strong country that is growing and developing in stability. It is also a dynamic and a promising country that has successfully put into practice the social and political transformations through the radical reforms it has achieved in recent years.

Our biggest priority is to carry further the level and the momentum of development that we have reached. The continuation of this reform process resolutely and strongly is of great importance in order that we can build more on the gains we have had so far and our people can enjoy prosperity, peace and happiness. These reforms will raise Turkey in every way and carry it to the level that it really deserves among the developed countries.

I hereby would like to reiterate my belief that Turkey’s horizon is clear and that it will overcome all its problems. Such a Turkey will be the most valuable present that we can give to our children, who are the guarantee of our future.

Dear children,

It was the most tangible demonstration of the trust Atatürk and our nation placed in you that Atatürk gave you this day as a festival on the day when the TBMM was opened. I have no doubt that all of you are well aware of this fact. You are the biggest treasure of our country and our nation and the beacon of hope for us.

As a country that has given a festival to its children, Turkey has an exceptional place in the world. The National Sovereignty and Children’s Festival is a special day when we share our elation and joy with all children of the world and during which we reiterate our message of friendship, fraternity and peace to the whole world through children. We believe that when all children-no matter what country they might be in-can live far away from wars, hunger and turmoils, doors for a world in peace will be open as well.

We are all making tireless efforts so that you can lead a peaceful and happy life without any problems that might affect you. Everything good in this country is for you.  You deserve the best of everything.

We attach special importance to your education in order to be a modern, democratic and prosperous country that has reached the highest level of standards. We know that Turkey’s welfare and happiness depend on this. Therefore, we aim that you receive a quality education as per today’s dynamics and that you become a generation who have internalized democracy, who respect human rights and other ideas, who are loyal to its values, who question, who have self confidence and who think freely.

Turkey’s future will be shaped in your hands. If you work hard and if you raise yourselves in the best way, you can realize your ideals. I am confident that you will be the strong architects of Turkey. I would like to underscore that we love and trust you all.

On this meaningful day I remember Atatürk, the founder of our republic, all our heroes and heroines of our Independence War, the members of the First National Assembly with tribute and gratitude. I once again celebrate your April 23rd National Sovereignty and Children’s Day and embrace you all with affection.”

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