Turkish Cultural Center – Syracuse (TCCS) and Turkish Student Association (TSA) collaborated to organize The Children’s Festival and Turkish Day in Syracuse on the occasion of April 23rd, National Sovereignty Day. The event began with the proclamation of Turkish Heritage Day by Van Robinson, president of Syracuse Common Council. President Robinson mentioned that Syracuse culture is becoming a richer because of the contributions of the Turkish populaiton . He handed the proclamation to Timur Saka, director of Turkish Cultural Center, on behalf of the Turkish Community.
One of the TCCS weekend school students, Fatma Zehra Sula, delivered a brief speech afterwards. Fatma said children should aspire to help build peace and cooperation throughout the world. She encouraged all the children to accomplish great things in life by studying and working hard. The proclamation event also featured a traditional folk dance performance by the students of the Turkish Cultural Center weekend school.
Next was the raising of the Turkish flag by a group of Turkish students from the weekend school at TCCS.
April 23rd is an important date in Turkey’s history. On that day in 1920, the Turkish Parliament was inaugurated. In Turkey, the date marks the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president of the Republic of Turkey, designated April 23rd as Children’s Day. Havva Karakas Keles, Assistant Director of Moynihan European Research Centers at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, gave the closing remarks by mentioning that the proclamation of Turkish Day in Syracuse would let Turkish-American children feel further encouraged to be engaged and model citizens.