80 orphaned children who came to Turkey from 12 different countries as a part of the 23 April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day Festival, released doves as a symbol of peace.
Orphans from Turkey, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Kirghizstan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, East Turkistan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Macedonia and Burkina Faso attended the festival held in the municipality’s wedding hall.
The program, where doves were released as a symbol of peace, will continue for another week with cultural trips such as visits to the Sarıgazi City Forest, Miniaturk and a tour on the Bosphorus. The children, who will be planting trees in the Sarıgazi City Forest, will also attend official celebrations for the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.
“We experience the joy of establishing the ties of brotherhood together”
In his speech, Cahit Altunay, the mayor of Sultangazi, thanked all those who contributed in materializing the 4th International Orphan Meeting. Altunay, who said the children will have the opportunity of becoming acquainted with Istanbul, added “When you return to your own countries, maybe you can speak to your Turkish brothers and sisters on the telephone or write to them. We are, and hopefully will continue to experience the joy of establishing the ties of brotherhood together.”
“If an orphan smiles the world is a happier place”
Emphasizing that the children from refugee camps in Palestine and Lebanon participated in the program, Reşat Başer, IHH Deputy Chairman in Charge of Orphans explained:
“Among us there are children from our brother country Azerbaijan, East Turkistan and Afghanistan, and also the grandchildren of Aliya Izetbegovic. The smiling faces of the world have gathered here today; I would like to ask our municipalities and the people who strive to maintain these great works to help the children who are being exploited because they need our help, they need to smile. We say if an orphan smiles the world is a happier place, when an orphan smiles humanity smiles.”
Doves were release as a symbol of peace
Following the program attended by Abdurrahman Dursun, Ak (Justice and Development) Party District President and Yusuf Özel, MHP (National People’s Party) District President and many other guests, the orphaned children released doves as a symbol of peace. The program, where various refreshments and gifts were distributed to the guests, ended with entertainment organized for children.