23 April | Op. Dr. Esra Bilgen
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23 April

If I say “those were the days” for the feasts it means ages gone and I grew old. Actually our parents used this expression in religious holidays …

Lately the condition and circumstances we are in caused to lose the previous enthusiasm lived on national holidays before, or we were made to be out of enthusiasm…

Either on 23 April or 19 May during national holidays there was mobility on the streets. The participants in the ceremonies were determined weeks ago at schools and many practices were repeated for days. Generally girls wear tutu like dresses and boys had white suits. Many folkloric suits and sportive clothes that fit for sportive parades were used on 19th of May. A sweet rush experienced in the home of the children who will participate the parade and shows that day and at early hours they start off to reach the place of the show which was generally held at the stadium of the city. Interestingly enough, even children would not participate in the show or parade; they were dressed with sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and taken to the stadiums to watch the show.

When I was a child there was a single channel TV broadcast. I remember when the second channel TRT2 launched first. Live broadcast from the shows and parades in the city were on the TV and everyone watched them with joy in those days. Atatürk or Turkish Flag image created by flags were enough for us to get proud and even our eye’s to brim with tears.

Today, when we look at the current conditions such things come surprising for the generations. Love of Atatürk, and what is symbolized by national holidays are getting forgotten day by day. However, I am only talking about 25-30 years ago not about so ancient times. Love of Atatürk which is one of the most important cements of this country and the thing that is symbolized with national holidays are getting forgotten day by day. All of our values are emptied and cleaned out. Vary different reshaping revealed in the community. And all of these are happening very rapidly, I wonder how we can forget our origin, history so easily; that is the surprising thing actually. How can we ignore the people who fought for independency and the war of independence? Whereas, I believe the communities cannot stand without their values…

I am staring at the Bosporus from the window of a huge “Mall” of İstanbul. I could hardly see a flag with the star and crescent on the streets except 10-15 flags hung on the windows of some houses. Time goes by as usual. Since many years private sector does not care about official holidays and continue their normal work hours. Celebrations look like to be only made with the children and flag images we share in our social media accounts. Our most important holiday, NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY AND CHILDREN’S DAY presented to children by our Great Leader Atatürk when the first opening of grand national assembly celebrated passes by in this way.