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Çarşamba, Mayıs 31, 2023
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2022 in Review: World & Politics

The top stories of the year in politics and international relations.


Good morning! Today's Thursday, December 29th.

In our Year in Review series issue #4, we'll be wrapping up the top developments in politics, with elections, conflicts, and protests that shook the world this year. Bear with us through the week for a complete snapshot of the year. Tomorrow's issue: Sports & culture.

– Team Aposto


• In the Netherlands, a new four-party coalition government took office with Mark Rutte as prime minister.

• In Hungary, Viktor Orbán was elected prime minister for the fourth time with 57% of the vote.

• In Serbia, President Aleksandar Vučić won the presidential elections for the second time. Vučić became the first person to be elected president of the country twice.

Emmanuel Macron, the candidate of the Republican March Party, won the presidential elections in France with 58.2% of the vote. 

• 2022 was a year of political instability in the United Kingdom. After Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned, Liz Truss, who was elected to replace him, stayed in office for only 44 days and then resigned. Rishi Sunak was elected PM after Truss—who became the shortest-serving prime minister in the history of the kingdom.

Sunak and Truss

• Moderate Conservative Party leader Ulf Kristersson was elected prime minister in Sweden's general elections. The newly formed right-wing government also included the Christian Democratic Party, the Liberal Party and the far-right Sweden Democrats Party.

• In Italy, Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, was elected prime minister in the general elections held after Mario Draghi's resignation.

Yoon Seok-Youl, the candidate of the conservative People Power Party, won the presidential elections in South Korea.

• The Liberal Democratic Party, the late prime minister Shinzo Abe's party, won the general elections in Japan. Kishida Fumio became the new prime minister of the country.

• Following the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Central Committee elected Xi Jinping as the General Secretary and President of the CCP for the third time. Jinping became the first person to hold the party leadership for more than two terms after the country's founding leader Mao Zedong.

National Congress of the CCP

• Leftist candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won the general elections in Brazil with 50.9% of the vote, ahead of his rival Jair Bolsonaro.

Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 organization, won the presidential elections in Colombia.

• In the US midterm elections held on November 8, Democrats led by Joe Biden won the majority in the Senate, while Republicans won in the House of Representatives.

United States Capitol

• In Pakistan, the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who lost the vote of no confidence in the parliament due to poor economic management, fell. Sharif Shahbaz won the elections held afterwards and was elected the new prime minister of the country.

• The right-wing bloc led by former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu won the general elections held in Israel.

• Former US President Donald Trump announced that he will run in the presidential elections to be held in 2024.

• In Peru, President Pedro Castillo was ousted after accusing Congress of overthrowing him. Castillo was replaced by Castillo's vice president Dina Boluarte.


• What Russia started as joint military exercises with Belarus near its border with Ukraine in early February, turned out to be a precursor to the invasion of Ukraine after Russia said the drills will not end as planned, and that Russian forces would remain in Belarus indefinitely later in the month. As Russia's Senate unanimously approved Putin's request to authorize sending troops to Donetsk and Luhansk; Putin demanded Ukraine recognized Russia's sovereignty over Crimea, and renounce its bid to join NATO. Putin then went on to announce that Russia launched a military offensive on Ukraine, saying he will see to the "demilitarization and de-Nazification" of the country, all during February. 

Russian invasion of Ukraine

via CNN

Finland and Sweden have applied for NATO membership in response to growing security concerns over Russia. Turkey announced that it would not approve the two countries' NATO membership on the grounds of sanctions on arms imports, and their "support for terrorist organizations". A trilateral agreement was signed to resolve the problems between the parties.

Denmark decided to join the EU's common security and defense policies.

• The "Madrid Strategic Concept" was adopted at the NATO Leaders' Summit held in Madrid. China was referred to as a "threat actor" for the first time in the document, while Russia was defined as the "most important and direct threat".

• 25 people were detained in Germany as a result of an operation against a group of far-right extremists and retired soldiers who have been planning to overthrow the government since November 2021.

• Large-scale clashes broke out on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. While both sides blamed each other for the start of the clashes, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that at least 71 soldiers were killed and more than 100 soldiers were killed on the Armenian side.

Australia and Japan signed a defense agreement to "contribute to stability in the Indo-Pacific region", which Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described as historic.

US President Joe Biden, who visited South Korea and Japan, declared that "Taiwan will be defended with military force if China attacks Taiwan". Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, traveled to the Taiwanese capital Taipei, despite threats by Chinese officials that a possible visit to Taiwan would have major consequences. 

• Speaking at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), President Xi Jinping vowed to complete Taiwan's reunification with the mainland. "We do not exclude the use of force, we will take all necessary measures to stop separatist movements," Jinping said regarding Taiwan.

North Korea has fired at least 71 missiles in 31 nuclear tests this year, the highest number of tests in a year since its nuclear missile program began in 1976.


The European Commission announced that €210 billion has been allocated for a project that aims to end the Union's dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2027.

The European Parliament adopted the 2022 Turkey Report in a plenary session, stating that the democratic decline in Turkey is "deliberate".

Hungary's form of government was defined as "elective autocracy" in a draft resolution adopted in the European Parliament. The resolution suggests that Hungary systemically threatens EU values and is "no longer democratically governed". The European Council said it aims to cut funding to Hungary due to the decline in the rule of law and democratic standards. The impact of this suspension would amount to approximately €6.3 billion in budgetary commitments.

The UK tried to send asylum seekers arriving illegally to Rwanda and keep them there until they are processed. The first planned flight was stopped by the ECHR. The UK Supreme Court ruled that the Rwanda plan was legal after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that the plan would be restarted.

• In the city of Melilla, Spain's North African territory and the EU's only land border with the African continent, around 2,000 Africans attempted to enter the EU borders on June 24 by overcoming the barriers around the city. It was announced that 37 migrants lost their lives and dozens of people were injured in the stampede and the intervention of Spanish and Moroccan security forces to prevent the migrants from entering.

• Eva Kaili, the Vice President of the European Parliament and some bureaucrats were dismissed for allegedly receiving bribes from Qatar. The detainees were arrested.


• Protests broke out across Kazakhstan after a fuel price increase. President Kassym Jömert Tokayev dismissed the government following the protests, and a state of emergency was declared in the country. Russia dispatched military forces to Kazakhstan to end the violent clashes that resulted in at least 164 casualties.


• Protests were organized across Sri Lanka due to the economic crisis and difficulties in accessing basic needs. As Prime Minister Rajapaksa resigned amid growing demands for his resignation, protesters occupied the presidential residence and set fire to luxury vehicles belonging to Rajapaksa and his family.

• Protests that started across Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was detained for "not wearing her headscarf properly", turned into anti-regime demonstrations. More than 400 people have lost their lives in the protests so far, with 5 death sentences issued and two of them executed by the regime.

Mahsa Amini

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan announced that they have banned women from studying at universities until further notice. The administration, which had previously banned women from entering parks and gardens, prohibited them from taking long journeys alone and made it compulsory for them to cover their faces in public places, also banned women from working in local and foreign non-governmental organizations. 

• Hundreds of protests took place in the US following a Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion in 1973.

• A 69-year-old man carried out a racially-charged attack in a banlieue with a Kurdish majority in Paris, killing 3 and wounding 5. Following the attack, clashes broke out between the police and groups carrying banners associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a terrorist organization.

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