The week officially began yesterday with an opening ceremony in Parliament marked by a speech made by Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan. Toptan said the Republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, granted April 23 to Turkish children and said children around the world have celebrated the day for a long time. He said the event, which was intended to be a national festival, turned into a festival for children from all over the world.
"We should be proud of this," Toptan said.
Some 2,250 children from 48 countries will participate in the traditional annual children’s festival organized by the Radio and Television Corporation, or TRT. This year’s celebrations will take place in İzmir. The first festival was held in 1979 when the United Nations declared 1979 the year of the world’s children. Some 20,000 children from 100 countries have taken part in these festivals to date.