Another calendar year is over. Each year ends with the events taking place on the calendar pages while the expectations for the new year are also on the agenda.
In the past year there have been many events that can be sorted according to their importance in relation to where they are viewed. It is impossible to bring all of these in a single article. But we think that it is useful to remember together with our readers the remarkable events.
Last January 2017 began with a bloody incident. A person who appeared in a camouflage with a gun in an entertainment spot in Kuruçeşme caused 39 people to die. The person who appeared in the pictures as the main perpetrator of the incident was later caught. However, the cloak of secrecy on the incident was still not fully illuminated. Since the legal process does not end in this regard, we may be able to obtain more satisfactory information over time.
News related to the structure of the Wealth Fund, which was created some time ago in February, attracted attention. The National Lottery, games of chance, and horse races are transferred to the Wealth Fund as well as the giant public corporations. Organizations such as Ziraat Bank and Stock Exchange Istanbul were also transferred to the Wealth Fund. How the Wealth Fund takes shape and which areas it covers will become clearer in time.
The most significant event in March was the crisis with Holland. Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was asked to be deported by the Dutch police in Rotterdam, where she went for a program on the referendum. This event led to a great political tension between the two countries.
Another important event in March was the end of the Euphrates Shield Operation, which took 7 months. Turkey by performing cross-border operation exercised control over the lands of Syria.
At the beginning of April chemical bombs were thrown at Idlib in Syria, where more than 100 people were killed. It is remarkable for showing the ruthless face of the war over civilian people.
Turkey held a constitutional referendum on 16 April. Parliamentary system has been replaced by the presidential governmental system’, which is Turkish style presidential system with the referendum held in 16 April 2017, 94 years later the first government was established in 30 October 1923. New system offered by AKP and MHP, which was brought to the agenda of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, was accepted with 51.4% of the vote. The 'No' vote of 49 percent in this referendum was in the minds as a much debatable rate on the next elections.
In the second half of May, the decease of Akif Emre, our friend who has been publishing director for many years in the World Bulletin, has saddened us. The writings and sharings about deceased Akif Emre created a platform for the people giving them the opportunity to re-examine their own positions. May Allah rest him in peace.
Another grievous event of May was the suicide Attack in Kabul. 100 people have been killed in this attack.
Early in June and in the first days of Mubarak Ramadan, my dear father, Necdet Erken, passed away. I hereby ask for a Fatihah reciting for my father and our all deceased one.
The other important event of June was Kılıçdaroğlu, the CHP leader, marching from Ankara to Istanbul. It has been an important event for a political leader to walk a 450-kilometer road on foot in a relatively calm manner, although the march are considered quite differently on the sides of the government and the opposition.
Also the month of June drew attention with the events in the world as well as the developments in Turkey. In Gulf enriched by the oil and natural gas reserves one of the biggest crisis in recent years has occurred. Firstly Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (BAE) and Bahrain, followed by Yemen, the Maldives and Libya announced that riches they had suspended all their diplomatic relations with oil-rich Qatar.
While Qatar, bordered by Saudi Arabia, is almost under blockade from land, it has come to the agenda to supply basic necessities such as food by sea and air. Turkey at this moment came into play and declared its support for Qatar both orally and in practice.
Of course, the attitudes of the great powers that were effective in the background of this event were also interesting because it shows that the balance in the Middle East has been reformed again.
In addition, the Crown Prince's change in Saudi Arabia in this month has come to the fore as an event to be emphasized in terms of Saudi Arabia’s internal balances and international relations. At first glance, this event, which was evaluated together with the Qatar crisis, emerged as a signal of a deeper change.
At the end of August, there was an event that shook the Islamic world deeply. The massacre committed against Muslims in Arakan has reached serious dimensions. The world's major powers remained almost as spectators to this event; however, Turkey took the initiative and serious attempts against the massacre. Politically, it brought the event to the world agenda and with aid campaigns helped people living in this region.
Again in August, Eren Bülbül, 15 years old, who saw the terrorists in Trabzon Maçka and informed the gendarmery, was shot by the PKK. The murder of this young child by the wild-eyed killers took its place in history as an incident that should be remembered with hatred.
In September between Russia and Turkey S-400 missile defense system agreement argued for a long time was signed. This agreement made by Turkey as a NATO member is important in terms of showing the drastic changes in preferences for Turkey's defense. The way in which this rapprochement with Russia has been the most discussed topic on the agenda.
Again in September, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez, who was enormously successful during the Presidency of Religious Affairs, retired from office after the negative judgment about him had established. This departure has saddened the Muslims in different regions of the world as well as in Turkey. Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş was appointed as the President of Religious Affairs.
We will see over time what kind of policies will be taken place by the Religious Affairs Presidency, which improved its quality during the era of Mehmet Görmez, under the presidency of Ali Erbaş.
Another important event in September was the abrupt removal of the TEOG exams applied in the transition to high school in the National Education System. After these examinations, which gave the impression that they had been removed before a serious preparation in advance, a long preparation period passed in the Ministry and the new system was introduced. The effects of this new system is keenly anticipated because this change deeply affected students, parents, and book producers.
In September, Kadir Topbaş, who had been the Mayor of Istanbul for many years, resigned. Topbaş laid down his office with the note trying not to hurt anyone and expressing his resentment and took a back seat without leading any debate.
In this month, the Independence Referendum was held in Northern Iraq. This referendum led to controversies both before and after it has held. Although in this referendum the decision was in favour of the independence, Turkey and many countries in the region and in the world objected strongly to the decision. As a result of this opposition, the decision could not go into effect and Mesut Barzani left the office after many years in power.
In October this time Catalonia in Spain has announced its independence after the referendum. Catalonia's independence took a serious part in the discussions of independence and autonomy that occupied an important place in world politics. The international system reacted to this decision in a serious way and the decision could not enter into force. But expectations about how these undertakings in the world will continue in the future continue.
Another important event occurred in October is the death of Jalal Talabani, who is a prominent figure in the Iraqi politics. In this way, the two important leaders in the Middle East, which have for many years been influencing political life, have lost influence for different reasons.
Also in October the US decided to suspend visa applications coming from Turkey. Turkey reacted to this decision severely and retaliated. After the talks, the visa decision was not fully abolished but softened for special situations such as health and education.
Another important event occurred in October was the establishment of the Good Party (İyi Parti) by Meral Akşener. The party founded with the motto “Turkey will be good” seems to have a certain percentage of votes in the polls; however, the discussions continue on what kind effect it will have in the Turkish political life.
In October, there was an attack giving the Islamic world a deep shock. More than 300 people died in the bombing attack in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.
Again in October, the Turkish Army entered Idlib with the intention of ensuring the safety of the conflict zone after an important preparatory period. Another reason for this operation was making ineffective the PKK / PYD / YPG elements in the Afrin region and the control of future threats. There is a growing expectation that a possible operation to the Afrin region is approaching after this development.
Another important development of this time was that the Iraqi government forces took control of Kirkuk. The situation in the region preserves its importance due to the danger of changing political and demographic structure in the region.
The month October has witnessed another important event. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went to Novi Pazar after his visit to Serbia. The first visit made at the presidential level from Turkey has spirits of people from Sandzak and Bosniak Muslims lifted.
Also in October, Turkey, Deniz Baykal, one of the most important figures in Turkish political life, had a brain hemorrhage. Deniz Baykal's treatment continues currently in Germany.
Other important events in October include the resignations of the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Bursa Recep Altepe and the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Ankara Melih Gökçek.
In November, Edip Uğur, who was asked to resign from the office as the Mayor of Municipality of Balıkesir, resigned both from the presidency and from the party expressing his resentment loudly.
Another sad event in this month was the attack on a mosque in Egypt: 305 people died in this attack.
King Salman made very important changes in his senior administration in Saudi Arabia, where he had experienced a crown change in June. Many princes, ministers and armed forces commanders who expressed disagreement with the current administration were removed from the management of this change. These changes in Saudi Arabia are closely related to the position of this country, both within its own internal structure and in the international arena, as mentioned above.
The other important event of November was the case of Reza Zarrab in the US. When Zarrab was defendant of the case, things have changed and he became the witness. Now the only defendant is Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the vice-chairman of the Halkbank of Turkey. Zarrab’s unreliable attitudes, the prosecutor and the judge of the case, whose connections with FETO has been became prominent, make lose its effect of accusations against Turkey.
Meanwhile, the fact that the prosecutor’s attempt to include the ministers to the case and thus to accuse the top government members of Turkey without merit has also drawn attention. This case, which tries to awaken an important sensation at the beginning and loses its credibility with incoherent movements over time, will be looked forward what will happen in the ongoing days.
In November, the war criminal, the Croatian General, committed suicide by poisoning himself at the court. This event was also of great interest. In the Balkans, people who behave violently against civilians and especially Muslims in disputed periods have been displaced from the history due to the different reasons as a manifestation of Divine Justice.
This month, an important step has been sought in order that the domestic car, which has been on the agenda for a long time, can be produced with a Turkish brand in a completely national structure. 5-partner organization will set up the company at the beginning of 2019 and prototypes will be announced in 2019 and the first car will be produced in 2021.
Reza Zarrab and the assets of 22 his relatives were confiscated at the beginning of December, while the case is continuing in the US.
In the last month of the year, Trump announced that he would carry the US Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as promised during the election period. On this incident, both the Islamic world and the Christian world in different denominations came to great reaction. Turkey's presidency of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation against this decision made extraordinary meeting in Istanbul. After the meeting, they declared East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Again, the UN General Assembly met following these developments has declared that they do not accept the attempt and decision of the US. Although the General Assembly decision did not cause any sanction, it took its place in the international system as an important development to be referred in the future.
On December 11, an important figure for the business world passed away. Ibrahim Çağlar, our esteemed friend of the ICO, passed away due to a sudden heart attack. May Allah rest Ibrahim Çağlar’s soul.
In the last days of this month, the African tour which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan started from Sudan also attracted great interest. This ceremony was held for the President, who was met with the shouts such as Allahu Akbar in the Sudanese parliament, and was regarded as an important demonstration of his acceptance among the Islamic ummah.
These events are summarized by selecting from thousands of events and they marked the end of another year in calendar. In the year 2017, many innocent people died in the Islamic world due to the war, bombing and suicide attacks. Various kind of polarizations have emerged in the Islamic world. The Shiite Sunni split is a controversy triggered by non-Islamic forces this year. Muslims, of course, exaggerated their domestic problems more than necessary and this situation harmed them. We are sad to see the concrete manifestations of the Sunni-Shiite conflict in this framework especially in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
Trump, the new president of the United States, has endorsed his uncontrolled attitude during the election with his practices after the election. Also, the struggles within US’ internal structure brought the events to a climax and this side of the struggle haven’t been missed by the attentive eyes.
Israel has continued to confuse events such as a dangerous tumor within the Islamic world as usual and to maintain its hostile attitude. It did not hesitate to reveal his hostile attitude towards Muslims in different aspects of the world, both in Israel, in the Palestinian region, and the Middle East. Moreover, in this attitude, the USA has always seen as the greatest supporter.
Turkey has confronted with various sieges from multiple areas in 2017. Turkey has always tried to show a dignified stance against the siege attempts. As a result of this attitude and stance, Turkey appeared to be the hope for the people in the oppressed geographies. The last meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the votes of the UN General Assembly have drawn attention as important indicators in this framework.
The struggle of Turkey against FETO has continued uninterrupted during the past year. Some of the unjust sufferings that have arisen in this frame of prolonged lawsuits, detention, dismissal, and condemnation have caused the government to face serious challenges. The commission set up to deal with the unjust treatment has not yet begun to work at the desired efficiency and at the internal and external opposition circles the unjust treatments have been remained on the agenda. This issue has devolved to 2018 as a major problem in this field.
In the meantime, due to the need of rapid act under the conditions of emergency, the KHKs sometimes have been issued without showing necessary attention in the process of preparation and this caused to increase the dissatisfaction towards the administration. Hopefully in the future, the balance between rapidity and providing the legal sensitivity required by the issues will be established and the troubles of the citizen concerning this issue will be relieved if the partial mistakes made are compensated.
We hope that 2018 will bring goodness and blessing.
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