It’s the country that established itself as a Eurovision powerhouse over the 2000s and, since its 2013 withdrawal, has yet to return to the contest. Nevertheless one simply can’t ignore the legacy, history and musical talent Turkey has displayed over the years as they graced Europe’s largest musical event.
Despite their inactivity, the Turkish music scene remains as bustling and bountiful as ever, with smash hits being crafted and publicized on an almost daily basis. This means that even if they once took time from their schedules to travel to represent Turkey in Eurovision, many of the stars we have come to know and love still enjoy a great deal of popularity in their country and diaspora to this day.
So, without further ado, let us see what some Turkish Eurovision stars have done in 2018.
MFÖ (1985 and 1988) – “Senin Hatırına”
They’re one of the most influential Turkish bands, with several stars we know having covered their songs live at their concerts. And the trio of MFÖ — Mazar, Fuat and Özkan — are still together making music. Gracing the Eurovision stage on two occasions and placing mid-table both times, the band has kept it varied over time, releasing multiple singles this year.
Izel Çeliköz (1991) – “Solmuş Gül Kasabası”
Having featured in a trio with Reyhan Karaca and Can Uğurluel as they represented Turkey in Rome, Izel has become one of the most successful Turkish singers of the 90s and early 2000s, releasing multiple albums over the years. This summer-inspired song showcases she is still going strong with her craft.
Tuba Önal (1999) – “Yeniden Doğuş” feat. Nevzat Yılmaz
The first and only Turkish singer to represent her country in Eurovision with Israel as hosts, Tuba has kept herself busy. Known as the official singing voice of Pocahontas, Mulan and many other Turkish dubs and movies, she has featured in several different works ever since placing 16th in Eurovision, including this jazzy, conceptual piece.
Sertab Erener (2003) – “Bastırın Kızlar”
She took the crown in 2003, and Sertab’s here to tell you all “Go, Girls!”, which is the translation of her latest release, riding strong on the topic of female empowerment that has defined the year, all the while keeping a strong Turkish identity. Fun fact, this song was co-written with fellow Eurovision star Can Bonomo!
Kenan Doğulu (2007) – “Boş Sayfa”
He told us to “Shake it Up” in Helsinki, and Kenan has kept himself really active during the summer of 2018 with multiple songs in the new wave of tropical house that has been trendy of late. Fresh out of the oven is his new music video — the delightfully trippy “Boş Sayfa”, with a video full of effects and optical tricks.
Mor ve Ötesi (2008) – “Sultan-ı Yegâh”
“Deli” has been an evergreen fan favorite since its top 10 finish in Belgrade, and rock band Mor ve Ötesi has always kept a presence on the Turkish music scene. Their new releases have been much more mellow than their Eurovision song, but nevertheless, still very well received in the Turkish masses.
maNga (2010) – “Gel (Bu Son El)”
They brought stadium rock and a robot show all the way to a deserved second place in Oslo, and maNga has evolved into one of the most prolific acts in all of Turkey. Their recent releases have differed from the style of “We Could Be The Same”, as well as keeping it Turkish. And in their latest release, they prove they are not scared to dwell in the dark.
Yüskek Sadakat (2011) – “Yunus”
They were the first non-qualifier of Turkey’s Eurovision history, shocking everyone, as they are one of the most popular and well-respected bands in the country. Having changed their sound to something more organic, they didn’t let their result get in the way of creating top-notch music. Don’t believe us? Then just hit play!
Can Bonomo (2012) – “Keyfim Kaçık Acık”
The very last Turkish act before their hiatus, Can Bonomo has been one of the most prolific Turkish singers that has graced the Eurovision stage. His new releases have been decidedly more edgy and rocky than his quirky entry in Baku, “Love Me Back”, but he’s been working the new ska punk look and bad boy image to great success.
What do you think of all the new music from these Turkish Eurovision alums? Do you miss Turkey at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments below!