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!
Comments on this post are now closed.