Last week controversy erupted when the head of Turkish broadcaster TRT explained that Turkey would not broadcast Eurovision when acts like Conchita Wurst were involved. Now the European Broadcasting Union has issued a statement, confirming the core values of Eurovision.

In a statement published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, an EBU spokesperson confirmed that “The Eurovision Song Contest’s values are of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.”

The statement follows comments İbrahim Eren, the general manager of the state-run broadcaster TRT. Speaking as part of a panel discussion at İbn Haldun University, Eren told the audience that it all came down to performers like Conchita Wurst — who won Eurovision two years after Turkey withdrew.

At the time, he 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.”

He also spoke of 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.”

In their statement, the EBU was also clear to note that Turkey is very much welcome to return to the song contest. The spokesperson said, “TRT has made a huge contribution to the contest in the past, including hosting the event in Istanbul in 2004, and we would very much welcome them back should they decide to participate again.

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”.

Should Turkey return to the Eurovision Song Contest? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

Read more Turkey Eurovision news here

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Joe
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Joe

If they’re so annoyed at the Big Five, how come that didn’t bother them for years? Their win and subsequent successes all came under the Big Five (and they let Germany into Turkvision and let themselves go straight to the final).

Marteen
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Marteen

Turkey is making all this fuss due to them wanting to join “The Big Five”. It is not about voting or Conchita or jokes like that. We all know what they want and that they won’t return until they join the EBU ruling gang. I support that but does EBU?

Eastman
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Eastman

If Turkey wants to join the Big Five, all they need to do is pay the EBU a membership fee as high as what UK, France, Germany, Spain or Italy pay.

Marteen
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Marteen

If the “Big Five” could be obtained through a membership fee, Russia, Scandinavia and Benelux would have become members in a heartbeat! Your logic is laughable!

Jo.
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Jo.

They will return, probably in the late 2020’s.

Erasmus
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Erasmus

Maybe, but what if they get someone even worse than Erdogan

Andi
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Andi

Erdogan set the bar pretty low. Anything after him would be better.

NickC
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NickC

We will sooner or later come back as the economy is in shatters and the end for our dictator seems near

MusicIstheKey
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MusicIstheKey

Many of us miss Turkey, and hope they return. A HUGE music scene. Lots of good pop, ethno and rock. And a very big TV-market. They only use Conchita as an excuse I think. OK, many of didn’t like her winning, but still…it’s many years ago. The real reason why they won’t return is politics. I think we need a new Turkish government before they return.

Eastman
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Eastman

Turkey had seven top ten finishes in a decade and they gave us some of the biggest bops of the 2000s. They need to get rid of their drag-o-phobia and start giving us quality tunes again!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

They’d probably send the most heterosexual-pandering acts like their 2011 flop to balance it out.

Roy Moreno
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Roy Moreno

They’ve been doing so well before they withdrew…
Even San Marino are still competing and they’ve qualified only once, reaching 24th place, so that excuse of the voting process, simply, no.