Earlier today, Turkish broadcaster TRT’s general director Ibrahim Eren, was a guest speaker at Ibn Khaldun University in Başakşehir, Turkey. One of the topics being discussed and given clarity on was the broadcaster’s view on the Eurovision Song Contest.
Turkey participated in the contest for the first time in 1975. They did come last back then but kept going boldly and got their, up until then, best result ever in 1997 when Sebnem Paker finished 3rd with ‘Dinle’.
The next two decades had even more in store for them, as they were victorious for the first time in 2003, thanks to Sertab Erener leading the country to a 1st place in Riga!
Including that result, the Turkish people have seen seven top 10-finishes overall during those years.
In 2011 however, Turkey failed to qualify from the semi-final for the first time and the next edition, the 2012 one in Azerbaijan, turned out to be their last participation so far.
Sertab Erener gave her country Turkey their first in the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 in Riga, Latvia.
During the session at the university, a student asked Eren about the contest and he confirmed that right now they aren’t considering returning indeed.
It turns out that, next to personal issues with the voting system, iconic winner Conchita Wurst also has a lot to do with it!
Ibrahim Eren says:
We don’t consider rejoining the contest. We have reasons like the voting system. As a public broadcaster, we also cannot broadcast live at 9 p.m. –when children are still awake– someone like the bearded Austrian who wore a skirt, do not believe in genders and says that he is both a man and a woman.
It has been known that the EBU is frequently in talks with its member broadcasters, including those who currently aren’t participating in the Eurovision Song Contest, in hopes of bringing them back.
Eren confirmed these talks have taken place and explains what he has told them:
I have told the European Broadcasting Union on the Eurovision issue that they deviated from their values. As a result of this, we have seen other countries follow suit and also boycott the contest. There is a mental chaos at the EBU because of its executives. If they can fix it, we can definitely join Eurovision again.
It remains to be seen how future relationships between the EBU and TRT will develop.