On April 23, Turkish-Americans celebrate Turkish National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. On that day, 93 years ago, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established, realizing the aspirations of Turkish people for liberty, justice and peace, and leading to the 1923 founding of the Turkish Republic under the guidance of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Since its early years, the Turkish Republic has demonstrated its strong commitment to the universal values of peace, diversity and social justice. Turkey is the world’s first sustainable, predominantly Muslim secular democracy and is among the fastest-growing emerging markets. For more than 60 years, Turkey also has been a key U.S. and NATO ally. More than 5,000 Turkish soldiers took part in the Korean War, and more than 700 fell as heroes fighting alongside the U.S. forces. Today, with the Syrian crisis, Turkey’s role as a major U.S. regional partner remains pivotal.
Meanwhile, Turkish-Americans have left a positive imprint on America and contributed to its advancement in business, science, medicine, technology and arts. I join members of the Pax Turcica Institute in requesting a greeting proclamation or a legislative resolution to honor Turkish National Day. Sample text is at april23.paxturcica.org.