Turkey competed at Eurovision for the last time in 2012 and since then fans have been keen to see 2003 winners back. Now the general manager of broadcaster TRT has spoken on the subject of Turkey’s return and has explained why the broadcaster is staying away.

İbrahim Eren, the general manager of the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, recently spoke out on the subject at a panel discussion at İbn Haldun University.

Hurriyet Daily News reports that Eren told the audience that it all came down to performers like Conchita Wurst — who won Eurovision two years after Turkey withdrew.

Eren explained, “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.”

Since Conchita’s appearance at Eurovision 2014, there have been no gender-blurring bearded drag performers competing in the song contest, let alone run-of-the-mill drag queens.

Eren also reiterated Turkey’s dissatisfaction with the Eurovision voting system and the 50/50 televote/jury split. When Turkey withdrew from Eurovision, they claimed this was the primary reason they were unhappy with the song contest. He said, “We don’t consider to rejoin the contest. We have reasons like the voting system.”

Despite the broadcaster’s unhappiness, since the televote/jury voting system was introduced in 2009, Turkey enjoyed three top-ten finishes, including maNga’s second-place finish in 2010.

Eren also claimed that other countries had followed Turkey’s lead and withdrawn from the song contest. He said:

“I have told the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on the Eurovision issue that they deviated from their values. As a result, other countries also left Eurovision. There is a mental chaos at the EBU because of its executives. If they can fix it, we can join Eurovision again.”

In reality, in recent years only Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have withdrawn from the contest on a long-term basis. In both cases, the broadcasters have confirmed this has been for financial not political reasons.

Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest

Turkey debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1975 and was a regular competitor until its withdrawal after 2012.

Turkey’s best result was in 2003 when Sertab Erener won with the ethnobop “Everyway That I Can”. Turkey then hosted the song contest the following year.

More recently, Turkey placed second in 2010 when rock band maNga placed second with “We Could Be the Same”.

Before its withdrawal, Turkey was considered a power nation of Eurovision. In its last decade, Turkey placed in the top ten seven times.

While Turkey does not compete at Eurovision, there’s nothing stopping Turkish acts from competing for another country. In 2016, Turkish television host Serhat performed at Eurovision representing San Marino.

Should Turkey return to Eurovision? Should the EBU ensure that sexually ambiguous bearded drag queens no longer enter the contest? Sound off below!

Read more Turkey Eurovision news here

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NickC
Guest
NickC

I am Turkish and I am ashamed by these utterly rubbish comments. We are moving backwards, and I don’t know if we will manage to stop the misinformed of losing our secular values established by Ataturk. Please, ignore these right wing nutjobs. I know almost half of my country are not represented by these archaic comments.

Dami Im Cosita
Guest
Dami Im Cosita

He is only using Conchita as a scapegoat in this situation. For sure that there is another reason why he says Turkey no longer wants to participate in the contest.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Or maybe they truly don’t accept the LGBT community in Turkey?

Herr Frau
Guest
Herr Frau

NEWSFLASH: Turkey will become the new Luxembourg and never return again!

JackTheBoy
Guest
JackTheBoy

“As a result, other countries also left Eurovision” Which countries are those?? Ok, let’s see! There are 6 countries (I do not count Turkey in this case) that had withdrawn from Eurovision. 1. Morocco – main reason is Israel’s participation. 2. Bosnia & Herzegovina – got sanctioned by EBU, they can only join if they pay their debts. 3. Luxembourg – withdrew in 1994 and they still dont want to back because they are not interested I assume 4. Monaco – financial problems 5. Slovakia – financial problems 6. Andorra – financial problems So who are those countries that had… Read more »

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

I understand Conchita is a controversial character, but, for God’s sake, she won in 2014 and they are still salty about it? That’s a serious issue for them, not for EBU. Plus, we already know Turkey is not coming back, not at least with the currenf government.

Efraim
Guest
Efraim

I think we can make it official: Turkey’s NEVER coming back to Eurovision.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Ehh, i kinda expected it to happen xD

James
Guest
James

Looks like someone’s bitter.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Please take Russia with you too.

ESC Nils
Guest
ESC Nils

If they can’t accept the new world they better stay out of the competition, we won’t change our beautiful and different ESC just for one country who doesn’t want to rejoin it

Eee Pee
Guest
Eee Pee

Ha ha this reminds me of how much I love the Manga song. Wot a bop!

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Really Turkey can’t say its the voting system all the time at least they said is was about LGBT acts at ESC (since Conchita there has only been a few big ones Lithuania 2015 Netherlands 2016 (Douwe was a public Bi-con tbh) and Ireland 2018)
If they cant handle that then oh well!

Flynn
Guest
Flynn

Turkey is only dissatisfied with the 50/50 system because they know they won’t win while a jury is in place.

As for the acts Conchita is the only one to blur gender lines and it’ll be 5 years since by the next contest, the only other reason is the gay content, which if even Russia can commit to airing it, I don’t see why it’s a problem for them

Ambas
Guest
Ambas

Why Turkey won’t win while a jury is in place? This is the problem with jury, they just kill some countries, while helping Sweden.

KuhKatz
Guest
KuhKatz

At some point, I missed Turkey, but if thats their point of view, they should not even think about returning because ESC wont change just to satisfy one country.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I want Turkey back so much but not with that attitude…

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Basically, Turkey shouldn’t suffer from the “watershed” problem anyhow (of censorship for children’s sake), simply because it enjoys an eastern time zone. Save those complaints for Ireland.

This also raises the question of what does the EBU consider to be “adult content”, and does it agree with Turkey on it?

Either way, the people this is hurting the most are Turkish musicians and songwriters. Banning a live music contest for censorship reasons… that’s goodbye to culture.
(For the record, I don’t believe the voting system is an actual issue for them, otherwise they would have left earlier.)

James
Guest
James

And they even reached Top 10 more than once when the juries were brought back so such reasoning is baseless and more countries would have left because of it.

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

The only bearded diva I see is the head of TRT!

Robert
Guest
Robert

Bye Turkey!! please go with your narrow-mindedness! Eurovision is about inclusion not exclusion, not their place to make demands.. So typically Turkish.. #EyeRoll

leo valdez
Guest
leo valdez

if you can not put up with european standards then don’t return!
You won’t be missed!

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
Guest
Boycott Jerusalem 2019

Turkey come back! We missed you! 😥

pasi
Guest
pasi

NOT