We are celebrating the 98th year of the establishment of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. In the years of occupation, this Parliament, which takes its power from the nation and which struggled for liberation against the invading forces, has written the history of the revival of a nation. In all democratic systems, parliaments have a constructive value and are significant. But the Turkish Grand National Assembly, with the fight it gave for freedom, is the most distinct and clear example of that value.
The Republic was established under the umbrella of the Turkish Grand National Assembly after the struggle for independence was won. The Parliament, which carried out the War of Independence, despite all the adverse conditions, has become the symbol of national sovereignty and independence. The proclamation of the Republic and subsequent reforms were carried out by this Assembly. Since the day it was founded, our Assembly has been a pioneer organization in preparing our country for the future and in setting its targets. The 2023 targets which correspond to the 100th anniversary of the foundation of our Republic and the 2071 targets which correspond to the 1000th anniversary of Anatolia’s conquest are also shaped in the Turkish Grand National Assembly where the will of the nation is manifested.
Today is April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day. A day for our children that are the guarantee of our future. TUBITAK offers many opportunities to our children who will realize our national goals in future scientific innovations. We know that children are our hope and the future of our country. We conduct all our work and activities with this in mind and we will continue to do so in the future.
It is very important for us that our children steer towards science and carry out projects. Because they are at the core of our strategic 2023 targets that we want to reach in the 100th anniversary of our Republic. As the new TUBITAK, it is an indispensable target for us to steer our children and young people to science and projects in order to reach these strategic targets.
Our children’s magazines ‘Meraklı Minik’ and ‘Bilim Çocuk’ and Popular Science Books are our pioneering activities on this path. We also have project competitions for our children. 15 thousand 171 students with with 11 thousand 352 projects entered the Secondary School Students Research Project Competition, of which the 12th was organised this year. We are glad to see that applications continue to increase every year.
Within the framework of the “Protocol on Cooperation in Education” signed between TUBITAK and the Ministry of National Education, since 2013 we have been organizing TUBITAK Science Fairs for the 5-12th grade students. Recently, in 2017, fairs were organized in 5 thousand 334 schools and approximately 95 thousand projects were exhibited by 200 thousand students. Our support budget increased to 26 million 454 thousand Turkish Liras. In recent years, the number of people visiting the fairs has reached approximately 3 million.
We are setting up Science Centers in order to steer our children towards science and encourage their love for science. Konya Science Center, one of our leading science centers, had 915 thousand visitors in 3.5 years. In just 2017 the number of visitors reached 305 thousand.
With these thoughts in mind, I would like to congratulate all members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly since April 23, 1920 until today, to respectfully commemorate those who have passed away and to congratulate the day of all our children who we consider as important values for our future.
Prof. Hasan MANDAL
President of TUBITAK