2023 has been one of the most important years for humanity. There have been various events that had serious impacts on the economy, politics, and daily life. In this article, I will talk about the most important events of this year in Türkiye. These events include earthquakes, sports achievements, elections, and many more.
The first event, I believe will come to every Turkish person’s mind when they think of 2023, was an earthquake that affected over 100.000 people’s lives. On the 6th of February, at 04:17, people in the southern region of Türkiye and northern Syria were shaken by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8. Hatay, Malatya, Gaziantep, Diyarbakır, Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman, and Şanlıurfa were the cities that were affected the most, and many buildings collapsed, resulting in over 50.000 people’s deaths and huge need of necessities. The Turkish nation came together, and collected rations, money, clothes… The people who helped were not only adults. Children also contributed to this act by donating their toys and other belongings that they loved, hoping to give hope to their peers. Even though 6 February will be remembered with deep grief, it will also be the symbol of unity and solidarity.
Another important event was the volleyball matches The Sultans of The Net played. This successful team gave the VNL tournament both the MVP and many members of the Dream Team. The formation of the team was not easy, the person that became the MVP of the Nations League, Melissa Teressa Vargas Abreu, who is originally Cuban, first came to Türkiye for a match with Eczacıbaşı and scored 35 points. In the following years, she was in a Serbian team and her performance was not unnoticed. The coach of the Serbian National team wanted her in the national team but could not get the approval of Cuba. So, she embraced her chance of getting Turkish citizenship and with the help of Mehmet Akif Üstündağ, the leader of the Türkiye Volleyball Federation, she got the citizenship. To express her gratitude she says that her hometown is Malatya, where Üstündağ is from. With powerful players and outstanding performances, Sultans of The Net became the pride and source of hope during the hard times of Türkiye.
The election that was planned to take place on June 18 was held on the 14th of May, resulting in a second round of an election that took place on the 28th of May. A lot happened during and before these elections. For the election on the 14th, there were 4 sides; the People’s Alliance, the Nation Alliance, the ATA Alliance, and the Homeland Party. In the first election, none of the candidates passed the 50%, resulting in a re-election. However, this time the election was between two candidates that got the most votes which were the Nation and People’s Alliance, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In the end, with a percentage of 52%, Erdoğan became the president of Türkiye for another five years.
This year, 2023, was the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey and it was celebrated with excitement in the whole country with many concerts, festivals, and shows meticulously prepared for this important day. Many citizens gathered in squares and streets to sing songs and be together with gratitude for having this republic, a present from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the savior of the Turkish nation, and all other commanders and soldiers.
Türkiye also had some important accomplishments in science as well. I will talk about two of them. The first one is the first indigenous satellite that was designed to observe the World, IMECE. It was sent to space on the 15th of April. Moreover, it is believed that this satellite will pioneer many other scientific innovations and inventions in the following years. IMECE is the most advanced satellite in the aspect of communication, speed, and image resolution. It is planned to be used in the areas of not only observation but also natural disaster management, defense, forestry, and urbanization. Secondly, a Turkish woman scientist, Canan Dağdeviren who is currently working as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) invented many wearable diagnostic items, especially for women. With her invention of an ultrasound bra that can be used for early diagnosis of breast cancer, she made it to the BBC 100 Influential Women list. Moreover, because the inspiration for this invention was his aunt who passed away because of breast cancer makes this invention even more special.
With all these accomplishments, political events, and unfortunate incidents, 2023 became an important year in the history of Türkiye. While we are leaving 2023 behind, we have the hopes of 2024 being "better, happier, more successful for Türkiye and the whole world.
Agencies, Daily Sabah with. “Melissa Vargas’ Road from Cuba to Turkish Volleyball Royalty.” Daily Sabah, 4 Sept. 2023.Accessed 1 Jan. 2024.
“May 14, 2023 General Election Results - Election Results and Vote Rates.” Daily Sabah. Accessed 1 Jan. 2024.
“Türkiye Launches Its 1st Indigenous Earth Observation Satellite into Space.” Www.aa.com.tr. Accessed 1 Jan. 2024.
Dagdeviren, Canan. “BBC 100 Women 2023: Canan Dagdeviren.”, MIT Media Lab. Accessed 1 Jan. 2024.