It’s that time of the year again! The rumour mill about Turkey’s return to Eurovision never stops turning, but this year’s bait comes from a high level. Turkey’s national broadcaster TRT is said to be in talks with the EBU regarding Eurovision.
Turkey’s broadcaster discussing Eurovision with EBU
It was no less than TRT’s director, İbrahim Eren, who broke the news in an interview with Turkish newspaper Milliyet. Yes, he whose previous hurtful comments about Conchita Wurst obliged the EBU to issue an statement.
Eren confirmed that talks between the broadcaster and the EBU are taking place. Whether this will result on Turkey’s return or not is yet unknown, even to him.
“TRT made a decision on this issue in the past: ‘We’re not going to participate until the scoring system changes’. Our Board of Directors is sticking to this decision, but in the meantime we are also discussing ‘Eurovision’. A very good new director from Northern Europe took over Eurovision. I think he’s been very successful this year. After a long time, they had a good contest. Our colleagues are observing the new arrival. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Apparently, the Turkish broadcaster is fonder of the new Executive Supervisor, Martin Österdahl. Wouldn’t it be a score for him to secure a Turkish return on his second year on duty? His predecessor, Jon Ola Sand did a very similar thing with Italy’s return in 2011.
Turkey at Eurovision: 10 years since they left
Turkey debuted at Eurovision in 1975 and went on to win the contest in 2003 with Sertab Erener’s “Everyway That I Can”. They hosted the contest the following year, and also picked up second place in 2010 with maNga’s “We Could Be the Same”. As well, Hadise, Kenan Dogulu and Athena brought Turkey three fourth places.
However, Turkey left the competition after the 2012 contest in Baku. A number of reasons have been given over the years for Turkey’s absence. At first, it was a disagreement with the new voting method (the inclusion of juries). However, the voting system has changed significantly in the last few years, and it has not brought Turkey back.
Another reason was the rampant LGBT-phobia shown by some of the broadcaster’s key managers. Mr Eren himself stirred controversy with his comments on Conchita Wurst. H
In 2018, he said: “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.”
Has Måneskin inspired Turkey?
Italy’s victory, however, seems to have sat differently with TRT. It’s also worth noting that Turkey has traditionally done very well with rock bands: maNga came second, Athena was fourth and Mör ve Ötesi finished seventh. Perhaps Måneskin’s rock triumph has renewed the Turkish broadcaster’s interest in Eurovision.
It’s not only the broadcaster, the Turkish public has also responded to this year’s contest. As of June 19, almost one month after Eurovision, Turkey’s Spotify charts are still filled with Måneskin songs.
Just like in the UK, “I Wanna Be Your Slave” is enjoying a bigger impact than that of “Zitti e Buoni”, and it’s currently on top of Turkey’s Viral 50. The winning entry is also in the chart, at No.4. “Shum”, “Dark Side” and “Voilà” are still charting too, showing there’s still great interest in Eurovision in Turkey.
Do you think Turkey will be back in the end? Is this rumour more realistic than in previous years? Are you excited to have Turkey back? What do you expect from their return? Tell us in the comment section below!
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