What Happened Globally?
Jan. 9 Anti-government protests in Iran
Feb. 9–25 The Winter Olympics in South Korea, with North Korea participating
Feb. 13 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged with fraud
Feb. 24 Raul Castro steps aside, ending decades of Castro leadership in Cuba
Mar. 11 China abolishes term limits, allowing Xi to remain president for life
Mar. 14 Angela Merkel sworn in for her fourth term
Mar. 18 Lawmakers call for Mark Zuckerberg to testify in Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytica
May 7 Vladimir Putin sworn in for another six years
May 10 Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia becomes the world’s oldest leader at 92
May 14 US Embassy relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
June 5 Saudi Arabia issues first driving licenses to women
June 12 Donald Trump of the US and Kim Jong-un of North Korea meet at summit in Singapore
Sept. 23 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches world’s biggest free healthcare program
Oct. 29 Angela Merkel announces that she will not seek reelection in 2021
Nov. 6 The Democratic Party gains at least 40 seats in US midterm elections
Nov. 8–25 Three major wildfires occur in California
Nov. 14 Theresa May’s cabinet approves draft plan for the UK’s exit from the EU (Brexit)
Nov. 17 “Yellow vest” protests begin in France
Nov. 24 Taiwan voters reject same-sex marriage in referendums
Nov. 30– Dec. 1 G-20 summit in Argentina
Dec. 3–14 COP24 international environmental summit in Poland
Dec. 7 Germany’s CDU elects Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to succeed Angela Merkel
What Happened in Science, Sports and Popular Culture?
• AT&T announced their plan to launch 5G network service.
• MIT researchers built a self-driving car.
• Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the world’s most powerful rocket, Falcon Heavy.
• NASA’s InSight lander touched down on the Martian surface.
• Observation of a black hole by the Very Large Telescope in Chile confirmed Albert Einstein’s prediction of gravitational redshift.
• Hollywood stars protested sexual harassment by wearing all black at the 75th Golden Globes.
• The movies “Black Panther,” “The Incredibles 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” were released.
• The IFPI reported that streaming music services overtook worldwide sales of CDs and vinyl for the first time.
• BTS’s “Love Yourself: Tear,” Drake’s “Scorpion” and Eminem’s “Kamikaze” were released.
• LeBron James became the youngest player to reach the NBA’s 30,000-point milestone.
• France defeated Croatia 4–2 in the FIFA World Cup finals in Moscow.
• Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus in a deal worth £99.2 million.
• Roger Federer defeated Marin Čili to win his 20th Grand Slam title.
• American actress Meghan Markle married Britain’s Prince Harry.
• Rappers Cardi B and Nicki Minaj exchanged physical blows at a New York Fashion Week event.
• Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer was criticized for saying the company shouldn’t have transsexual or plus-size models in their annual fashion show.
What Happened on the Turkish Scene?
Jan. 29 Director Tolga Karaçelik’s “Butterflies” wins award at the Sundance Film Festival
Jan. 30 Twenty-one members of the Furkan Foundation and its founder Alparslan Kuytul detained
Feb. 5 First visit to the Vatican by a Turkish president in 59 years
Feb. 8 Reports say more than four million Turkish citizens attempted to access a government website, seeking genealogical data
Mar. 4 Fencer Deniz Ünlüdağ crowned European champion
Mar. 18 The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army seizes control of Afrin
Apr. 17 Turkey holds auctions to privatize three sugar factories
Apr. 25 Fifteen Cumhuriyet employees sentenced on terrorism charges
May 16 Banker Hakan Atilla sentenced to 32 months in prison
June 2 Ali Koç elected Fenerbahçe’s new chairman
June 12 Natural gas pipeline from Azerbaijan (TANAP) opens
June 24 General elections: “Erdoğan win ushers in new presidential era”
July 8 Train derails in Tekirdağ
July 11 TV preacher Adnan Oktar arrested on charges of fraud and abuse
July 19 State of emergency lifted after two years
Aug. 12 TRY/USD exchange rate passes the 7.000 mark
Aug. 27 Animals imported from Brazil determined to be infected by anthrax
Dec. 8 Saudi Arabia admits journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its İstanbul consulate on Oct. 2
Oct. 29 Opening ceremony held for İstanbul’s new international airport
IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad // English physicist Stephen Hawking // Givenchy founder Hubert de Givenchy // Soul singer Aretha Franklin // Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan // American war hero and senator John McCain // Marvel Comics creative leader Stan Lee // Former US president George H.W. Bush // SpongeBob cartoonist Stephen Hillenburg //
Turkish cinema star Münir Özkul // Businessman Mehmet Beğendik // Folk singer Nuray Hafiftaş // TRT announcer Tuna Huş // “Kapıcı Cafer” actor Ercan Yazgan // Poet Cemal Safi // Director Aram Gülyüz // Basketball player İsmet Badem // Photographer Ara Güler
“A lot can happen in a year,” they say. It’s at this time of year that you realize you’ve left behind a whole lot of things in your very small personal history, and yes, it’s really entrancing to think that way. However, what is even more interesting to me is to note how the world has also left so many things behind. It has experienced some chaos, some beauty; it has deteriorated but also developed. Basically, it’s been through a lot!
I wish you all – including some unknown girl living in some distant corner of the world – a happy new year: a happier year with peace, or at least one where we all take part in the effort to make the world a better place.