#Dear2016: A year of Turkey on social media

Beşiktas, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Trabzon's supporters cheer at the Vodafone Arena  Stadium. Football matches are one of the most popular subjects among Turkish Facebook users.
Beşiktas, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Trabzon's supporters cheer at the Vodafone Arena Stadium. Football matches are one of the most popular subjects among Turkish Facebook users.

2016 was a year of turmoil, courage and change for the most part of the world including Turkey. A look back at social media brings all these developments to attention

Scrolling down on Twitter or Facebook, the variations of the following sentence have come up very often this year - "Dear 2016, Please end now."

The year 2016 is over, with some good and some really bad stuff that developed around the world, including Turkey.

As in previous years, social media has remained a haven where people have mourned together, feared together and cheered up together. Looking back at what happened in Turkey at the end of a stormy year, the effects are clearly seen in the digital world.


Millions of people turn to Google every day for literally "any subject" -be it a new Netflix movie, holiday gift guide or DIY home repair. There are also millions searching "Google" on Google each month, maybe including you.

When Google released its top trending search list for 2016, the results were presumably not surprising, with Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton coming out as the first and second most-searched persons of 2016.

Some parts of the world have also been busy with losing itself in mobile gaming, notably Pokemon Go and Slither.io, which have topped the App store charts.

This year, Turkish people went more creative in their Google searches, mostly due to what the country had to endure over a tumultuous year. Leaving aside 16-year-old singer Aleyna Tilki and popular TV series "Kiralık Aşk" (The Rental Love), Turkish people's most searched question was "How to take on a tank?"

If a coup attempt happens in the country you live in, perhaps only exceptional courage and bravery will save the day. The Turkish people's will to fight against the coup on the night of July 15 stands out among the nation-wide Google results.


If you were a Facebook user in 2005, one year after the platform's debut, you were presumably searching for some old school friends or family relatives to friend request and log out. In 2016, Facebook is doing everything to keep you logged on more by letting users order pizza or buy movie tickets for the weekend.

The world's most-used social network reached 1.17 billion active users by the second quarter of 2016, according to Staticas data.

When looking at the most-talked about topics on Facebook in 2016, the results show resemblance to those in the Google list, with the U.S. presidential election coming first. The top 10 others that followed were Brazilian politics, Pokemon Go, Black Lives Matter, Rodrigo Duterte and the Philippine presidential elections, along with the Olympics, Brexit, the Super Bowl and David Bowie.

As of 2016, Turkey's monthly active Facebook users reached over 42 million, while the daily active users are 26 million.

Based on Facebook's Turkey data available on the tech website Tekno.yo, football games are one of the most popular among Turkish Facebook users, as football fans interact with football-related content for around 8 hours a week, 68 percent of which is online.

On the other hand, the July 15 coup attempt and its aftermath were likely the first time that the new generation of livestreaming services - Facebook Live and Periscope - saw wide usage during a coup.

The Turkish people livestreamed from the streets and squares of many cities to show their resistance, sharing what was happening with the rest of the world.

On the night of July 15, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also joined a TV live broadcast through FaceTime video streaming, calling citizens to take the streets to thwart the attempted coup.


What happens outside also happens on Twitter; that has brought people together from all around the world to cheer, mourn, fear or celebrate.

Released a while ago, Twitter announced that Rio2016 was the most-tweeted-about topic around the world this year; Election2016 and PokemonGo. Euro2016, Oscars, Brexit, Trump and BlackLivesMatter also made the top 10.

For Turkish people, Twitter's top trends varied from major developments to favorite TV series'. Based on data given by the same website Tekno.yo, football matches topped the list for the Tweet Per Minute (TPM) category.

The 2016 Turkish Super Cup final match between Galatasaray and Beşiktaş in August, where Galatasaray took home the 2016 Turkish Super Cup by defeating their rivals 4-1 in penalties in central Konya got the highest TPM.

The second highest TPM moment came during an international match between Turkey and the Czech Republic in June and the Ziraat Turkish Cup final between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe in May took home third place.

Turkish Twitter users mentioned renowned late musician Neşet Ertaş the most in the musicians and artists category, while the Turkish TV series "Poyraz Karayel" got first in the entertainment section.


Quite a high number of Turkish users are hooked on Instagram, with more than 400 million active users world-wide. With its snazzy filters, live and easy sharing options, the app has become indispensable for many.

In 2016, Instagram's top accounts were announced as Selena Gomez with 105 million followers, Taylor Swift with 95.4 million and Ariana Grande with 92.6 million followers. The top 10 continues with Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylie Jenner.

This year, Instagram posts by Turkish people did not just merely portray happy times at lavishly-designed cafes or travel photos with friends or family members, but also, lots of scenes from "democracy vigils" following the coup attempt were posted on the social media platform.

People from all walks of life gathered in squares and streets around the country with Turkish flags, where they stayed awake until the early hours of the morning to show their support to the country's democracy. An Instagram account "Meydan Nöbeti" (Democracy Vigil on Square) shows thousands of Turkish people taking the streets or cheering with Turkish flags.

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