Not just a season: Arab Spring Event of the Year

Not just a season: Arab Spring Event of the Year

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Not just a season: Arab Spring Event of the Year

Protests, counterprotests and crackdowns rocked squares of Mideast and North Africa in 2011. AFP photo

The Arab Spring, the Japanese earthquake and the euro crisis led the way in the Hürriyet Daily News’ Event of the Year poll while the arrests of journalists, the prime minister’s stunning election victory and the Van earthquake topped the Turkey category. The Arab Spring, the general name given to the winds of change in the Middle East and North Africa that resulted in a number of regime changes, received the highest number of votes in the Daily News’ readers poll, followed by the “Economic crisis shaking Europe” and the “Quake and tsunami in Japan / Fukushima disaster.”

Readers said the arrest of journalists and politicians in Turkey, which have been raising concerns about freedom of expression in the country, was the Event of the Year in Turkey. It was followed by “Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s 50 percent election victory” and “Earthquake in Van.”

The earthquake that shook Van in November left 700 people dead. Kılıçdaroğlu was one of the people selected as Person of the Year in Turkey for his efforts to change the nature of the 88-year-old main opposition despite a landslide loss to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the June 12 general elections. President Abdullah Gül, the balancing factor in Turkish politics, and journalist Ahmet Şık, an imprisoned journalist who become a symbol of the fight for press freedom in the country and who is under arrest pending trial for alleged links to Ergenekon, were also selected in the category.

Late technology pioneer Jobs, who changed the way people use technology with Apple, was named international Person of the Year after receiving 39 percent of the votes.

He was joined by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, another indicator of his influence on regional politics, as well as Lionel Messi, who is widely regarded as the world’s best active football player.