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Press Centre (4/2019)

UNICEF supported the 3rd Children's Festival in Ankara to celebrate the National Sovereignty and Children's Day

ANKARA, 26 April 2019 – Almost 6,000 Turkish and refugee children gathered in Ankara for the 3rd Children’s Festival organized by ASAM in partnership with the Çankaya Municipality and with the support of UNICEF to celebrate the 23rd of April National Sovereignty and Children’s day.

The festival aimed to further foster friendship and cohesion between Turkish and refugee children in the colorful Ahlatlıbel Ataturk Park. Children enjoyed participating in numerous activities ranging from face painting to pantomime to stage performances during the entire day.

8-year-old Esraa from Syria who attended the festival said: “This is my first time celebrating the National Children’s Day in Turkey with my friends. I love this festival. It is very colorful. I was greeted by Snow White at the entrance and enjoyed lots of ice-cream.”

Beyond colorful balloons and story characters dancing with children on the grass lawn, the Festival also aimed to renew the commitment to Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in its 30th anniversary. The children and other festival participants signed UNICEF’s online CRC petition on computers set up in two different booths.  Each child received a blue wrist band upon signing the petition and took photos in front of the CRC booth to show the world loud and clear that they support every right for every child.  

8-year-old Mohamed said: “I had a lot of fun here today. I am very excited because I gave my signature to UNICEF’s online CRC petition. I did it for all the children in the world.” 

When asked about the importance of the event, ASAM Coordinator İbrahim Kavlak commented: “We continue to work in cooperation with UNICEF to support refugee children to overcome their challenges and to promote social cohesion. We believe that all these efforts are very important to prevent a lost generation.”
UNICEF Representative to Turkey, Philippe Duamelle, during his intervention said: “Today is a notable illustration of what childhood should look like. It is as much about learning and developing as about just having fun and being happy. Almost six thousand children from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are playing, singing and having great fun together in harmony and peace. This shows that children are just children, no matter where they are or where they come from.”

During the festival, a children’s choir performed children’s songs thatpromote friendship and peace for children in the world.  


Partnership for Children
Through its partnership with the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM), UNICEF has been supporting psycho social support and social cohesion activities with funding from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, United States Department of States.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
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For more information, please contact:
Sema Hosta, UNICEF Turkey, 03124541010, shosta@unicef.org

UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org