Municipality of Toronto accepted April 23 as Children's Day. Upon the application of Turkish Society of Canada and the Turkish Community Heritage Centre of Canada (TCHCC), the Municipality of Toronto answered the demand of Turkish societies by accepting April 23 as the Children's Day. Mayor Rob Ford released a written statement, saying that, since 1979, the April 23 was being celebrated by UNICEF as International Children's Day and added, the day will bring children from different backgrounds and cultures with the awareness of peace, friendship and sovereignty. The Founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, dedicated April 23 to the children of the country to emphasize that they are the future of the new nation. It was on April 23, 1920, during the War of Independence, that the Grand National Assembly met in Ankara and laid down the foundations of a new, independent, secular, and modern republic from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. Every year, children in Turkey celebrate this "Sovereignty and Children's Day" as a national holiday. The President, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet ministers, provincial governors all turn over their positions to children's representatives. Children also replace the parliamentarians in the Grand National Assembly and hold a special session to discuss matters concerning children's issues.