Turkey has decided to participate in the 2016 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest after a three year break!
The Turkish national broadcaster TRT has withdrawn from the contest in 2013, allegedly due to unjust voting. The broadcaster released a written announcement in 2012, which stated:
“As a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) TRT’s decision to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, is up to every broadcasting establishment’s own initiative. Therefore, our establishment has made the decision not to participate in the 58th Eurovision Song Contest to be hosted by Sweden in 2013.”
Since then, Turkey has not participated in the Eurovision Song Contest. Nonetheless, it’s been reported that the Turkish broadcaster’s administration and the European Broadcasting Union have begun holding talks about Turkey taking part in the contest again. The talks have reportedly ended with TRT’s decision to run in the Song Contest in 2016.
Until 2010, solely the audience determined the winner of the contest. However, with the change in voting regulations made in 2011, the audience’s influence was halved. From 2011, the jury accounts for 50 percent of the votes.
Another segment that changed in the voting system, which Turkey disagreed with, was the inclusion of the “Big Five” rule, which gives the EBU’s biggest economic contributors, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom an automatic qualification to the final. It has been speculated that previously unsuccessful results of these five countries may have prompted the change in the voting system.