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Press Centre (12/2016)

UNICEF's 70th anniversary celebrated with children's performances!

More than 200 children received commomeration medals after their performances at the 70th Anniversary UNICEF in Turkey's Children Gala in Ankara Turke. Photo Credit: © UNICEF Turkey 2016
By Donatella Lorch

ANKARA, 9 December 2016 - As part of UNICEF's 70th anniversary celebration, four children groups took to the stage in Ankara's Sinasi theatre, singing, dancing, playing instruments and performing.
Enthusiastic, engaged, excited, the children represent the endless talent of all children, whether they be refugees, children living or working on the streets, children with disabilities, children living in institutions or with their families.
More than 400 guests attended and 210 children performed. UNICEF’s representative in Turkey, Phillippe Duamelle said at the opening:
"It is for each and every child that we stand together today," Mr. Duamelle said as he thanked the children. "Because every child deserves a childhood. Because the hope in their eyes today, is our hope for the future”.
Four performance groups took the stage: The Anatolian Fire’s Spark Children's Performance Group; Association of Children with Cerebral Palsy (SERÇEV) Choir; Eskişehir Tepebaşı Municipality's Children Symphonic Orchestra; Mesopotamia Circus and Street Arts Projects. Their performances showed how critical it is for a child to express themselves through art's energy, rhythm and spark and how important it is for all of us to stand up for their rights. 
"I was very excited,” said Aylin, 11, who comes from Mardin Province and performed with the Mesopotamia Circus and Street Art Project that included Syrian refugee performers. “It was a great feeling to represent children. I saw the children with disabilities who performed before us. I wish all disabled children can get well again. They have feelings too."
Berke, 14, played the clarinet with Eskişehir Tepebaşı Municipality Symphonic Orchestra, and joined 91 other child musicians in a vibrant and joyous production that included waving violin bows and twirling basses.
"The best thing in the orchestra is friendship,” said Berke, adding that he joined the orchestra to escape the lure of drugs on the street. “What I will remember from this night is friendship and family, happiness and the feeling of being together. I wish for every child to stay away from bad habits by doing art, music, and painting. Music means freedom to me."
The children on stage tonight, including Turkish and Syrian children, symbolized the melding of cultures across the vastness of Turkey and the Middle East. They were the champions of the night.
"I wish every child could chase their dreams. I wish every child happiness," said Berfin 14, part of the evening’s first acrobatic dance with Fire of Anatolia Spark Children's performance group.
Efe Arslan, 18, and his mother Seher, also received a plaque from UNICEF on behalf of SERÇEV. "We would like to see a better future with our kids having better access to education and equality and the rights they enjoy" Seher Arslan said. "We believe we will be achieving this all together".


UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.

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For further information, please contact
Sema Hosta, UNICEF in Turkey, +903124541010, shosta@unicef.org 
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org