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    Children without a real childhood

    Hurriyet Daily News
    23.04.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - Despite some success improving conditions for its children, Turkey still has a long way to go to incorporate many thousands of kids who still spend their time in industrial sites or on farms.

    Many children who are growing up on the streets of this sprawling metropolis have no idea that today is a day in their honor, and despite the tough odds they face they do still dream and need all the assistance available.

    A ceremony will be held on the occasion of April 23, Turkey's National Sovereignty and Children's Day, at the nation’s first parliament building in the capital, Ankara.

    The opening of the parliament, followed by the foundation of the Republic in 1923, transformed Turkey from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire into a modern, secular and democratic country based on the nation-state principles of the French Revolution. The parliament marks the beginning of the Ataturk Revolution.

    Following the defeat of the Allied invasion forces on September 9th, 1922 and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on July 24, 1923, Ataturk started his task of establishing the institutions of the new state. Over the next eight years, Ataturk and his followers adopted sweeping reforms to create a modern Turkey, divorced from her Ottoman past.

    In 1924 it was decided to celebrate the April 23 as "National Sovereignty Day"; in 1929 as the "National Sovereignty and Children's Day." The day is an official holiday in Turkey.

    Although April 23 is the first day in the world dedicated day to children, there are still steps that need to be taken to improve the conditions of children in the country.

    Despite some success over the last two decades to improve the educational and health conditions for its children, Turkey still has a long way to go to incorporate a skillful young generation into its society.

    Hundreds of thousands of children still remain outside the education system, spending their time in industrial sites, or in the fields, helping in family businesses.

    Here are exclusive stories from Thursday's Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review of Turkish children:

    Celebrations don’t mask plight of kids

    A success story from the streets

    All alone in unforgiving metropolis





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