Ever since Turkey withdrew from Eurovision after the 2012 contest, there has been much hope that the country might make a return. Now for the first time, the EBU have put out a statement confirming they are “in contact” with Turkish state broadcaster TRT and are aiming to bring the country back to Eurovision.

This follows on from comments made by İbrahim Eren, the Chairman and Director General of TRT, who noted that discussions about Eurovision were back on the table. Eren’s remarks have been featured widely in Turkish press over the last week.

EBU confirms aim to bring Turkey back to Eurovision

The full statement from the EBU published on eurovision.tv reads as follows:

“Although the EBU’s Turkish Member TRT hasn’t participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2012 we know there is still huge interest in Turkey in the Contest underlined by the large amount of engagement on our social channels from Turkish fans.

With that in mind, we are in contact with TRT with the aim of bringing them back into the competition.

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.”

This is the first time that the EBU has specifically stated they are actively in discussions that aim to bring Turkey back to Eurovision.

The EBU previously put the emphasis on TRT themselves, noting that they would be welcome back should they wish to participate.

In their statement, the EBU notes that, despite being absent from Eurovision for nine years, there is still a lot of interest in the contest from Turkish fans, particularly on social media. It appears the EBU wants to tap into this engagement and give Eurovision fans in Turkey the opportunity to cheer for their own country once again.

@wiwibloggs_officialWould you like to see ##Turkey back at ##Eurovision? 🇹🇷 ##ESC2022 @jonathanvautrey♬ Everyway That I Can (Special Bubbling Mix) – Sertab Erener

TRT’s General Director İbrahim Eren previously confirmed to Turkish newspaper Milliyet that talks between the broadcaster and the EBU are taking place. Whether this will result in 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. It would be a big achievement if he were able 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.

@wiwibloggs_officialWhat’s your favourite ##Eurovision song from ##Turkey 🇹🇷? ##sertaberener ##eurovision2022♬ original sound – wiwibloggs

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”.

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) and the Big 5 rule that allows the largest financial contributors to automatically qualify to the grand final each year. Although the latter is still in place, 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. 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.”

What do you make of the EBU’s statement? Are you happy to hear they’re actively aiming to bring Turkey back to Eurovision? Sound off in the comments below!

Read more Turkey Eurovision news here

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James
James
1 month ago
Bombalurina
Bombalurina
1 month ago
Reply to  James

if that’s the reason , Then don’t want Armenia , Russia and some others too.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bombalurina
Alex
Alex
1 month ago

I think TRT wants to secure a great result if they return, why would they negotiate their return???

I think that they will get a special treatment if they return so i don’t want them back, if it happens. I am only positive for all the Eurovision fans in Turkey, people love Eurovision.

Una
Una
1 month ago

How many more articles on the topic until the final decision is announced? That is, whether we could or we could not be the same.

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

There have only been 2 articles so far haha but yeah I’m really impatient as well. I expect a decision by July or August the latest.

Last edited 1 month ago by ROXELANA
Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

If they do come back I would love an ensable group of former participants with a banger. Show ’em how it’s done!! You know, to the NQs, those placed bottom and those with *mercenary writers*. One of the things that I absolutely *love* and *adore* about Turkey (like Ukraine) in Eurovision is their authenticity in what regards their musical acts.

Erik
Erik
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Make sure Sezen Aksu writes the music and it will be a banger

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik

Sezen Aksu is a legend. Her best songs are, imo, “Git” and “Sen Aglama”.. two masterpieces

Erik
Erik
1 month ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

Yes, she has quite a carrier. But my humble wish is if she would write something for a less known artist. I don’t think they’d take a big name like that. As a songwriter she has done fantastic works as well, a bit more realistic maybe

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik

No, of course I didn’t mean that she should participate. She would never participate, especially after this age. Don’t think that she would write for someone else either, but you never know.

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago

Btw, guys, as I previously stated, of course, a comeback is not certain (yet), however, some tweets by some Turkish Eurovision fans made me think if Edis could be our entrant, in case we really return. This is just a prediction, but still wanted to share it with you. I’m not really an Edis follower, but looking at his Twitter account, one can see that he barely tweets and if he does so, it’s really about big projects. So, 2 hours ago, he shared a tweet stating “MR.TURKISH DREAM” and shared a pic of him 5 days ago where he… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by ROXELANA
Erik
Erik
1 month ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

Yes, there are better Turkish musicians. But you cannot always get what you want. When turkey is back I wish for some big shots like sending Anatolian rock or something else showcasing the big variety on Turkish music scene.

Charles
Charles
1 month ago

With juris and the gigantic show off and exposure of the LGBTQ+ in the contest … Turkey would rather spit in your plate than take part of it …

Totorino
Totorino
1 month ago

I’d much rather the EBU made the effort to talk Luxembourg back into the contest. The country had a very successful track record when they took part and I feel they could continue down that path!

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Totorino

The problem is, that French-language broadcaster that competed during Luxembourg’s golden years effectively doesn’t exist anymore. Luxembourg’s current EBU member broadcaster is a Luxembourgish-language channel that specialises in local news and current affairs programming with only a small amount of entertainment. 🙁

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

What;s the problem then? They do have an EBU member broadcaster. Also, the PM of Luxembourg is a big Eurovision fan.

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
1 month ago
Reply to  Totorino

Can the same be said about bringing back Monaco? It may not be as powerful as Luxembourg in the contest, but still had a decent track. Times have changed since Monaco competed for the last time in 2006.

Last edited 1 month ago by Iván el Conquistador
Apollo
Apollo
1 month ago

Turkey will NOT come back as long as Erdogan is in power – it’s that simple. I don’t think people realise how conservative Turkey has become since they last participated in 2012. The Turkish government have taken huge steps backwards in terms of progression.

Eurovision is out of the question for Turkey unless a major political shift happens.

Denis
Denis
1 month ago

Hope they dont change rules only to bring back a country who feel they should be top 10 every year..

Okan idu?
Okan idu?
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

I agree rules shouldn’t be changed for one country, but are all fans really happy with the voting system? Don’t we have discussions about how Jury kills certain songs every year or overrates certain countries? Or is everyone okay with big 5 getting automatic qualification? Don’t you think the finals would have been better with trash songs that get 0 points from juries and/or public? Tick Tock could have been in this year over Embers. Last years worthy songs could have been over Sisters.

Denis
Denis
1 month ago
Reply to  Okan idu?

Yes and we also have discussions about how public kills some songs and overrate others, like KeiiNo. Would the contest have been better if that kitschy song was the actual winner? Was Serhat really worth top 10 if we only went by public votes? Were Hooverphonic really worth only 3 points?A 50/50 mix is absolutely the best solution and Turkey needs to respect that..

Okan idu?
Okan idu?
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

I was a huge Keiino fan so Id be really happy if they won. And a majority of public wanted that as well. As far as I know this is a song for the public, so I dont understand why 5 random people who can be bought have the same say as rest of the public

Sot
Sot
1 month ago

Who is the broadcaster kidding? There’s no way the government approves a return to the competition for Turkey. As long as Belarus and Hungary (mini-Turkeys as for the government) are out, Turkey is not going anywhere, unfortunately for us

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

At this point Turkey is less authoritarian than either Belarus or Hungary. Erdogan is very problematic but in my opinion he’s less bad than Lukashenko or Orban (at least where domestic politics are concerned).

Steven
Steven
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

Hm, I disagree that Erdogan is “less bad” than Lukashenko or Orban in terms of domestic politics. A dictator is a dictator.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven

Orban and Lukashenko are puppets of Putin.

Erdogan is cunning and he’;s doing everything for the money. If Eurovision can change the mood of the people and bring happiness (in the case of a victory), i think Erdogan can use it as a political tool.

Bombalurina
Bombalurina
1 month ago

This is the first time official website posts about a ”possible” return ,even when meetings still continue and it’s not certain yet but these news went viral also in European media.. Seems like TRT is ready to accept the voting system and LGBT presence in Eurovision. And Martin Österdahl does everything to get them back maybe because of the huge viewing figures of the country , it has almost 85M population and probably the number of the viewers were over 10M back in 2009-2012 for each year… After ten years of absence their viewer rates would explode , it would… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Bombalurina
Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago

I’d hate them changing the scoring system just to win back a country whose broadcaster believes they are entitled points just because of their diaspora.

Cem Yildiz
Cem Yildiz
1 month ago

The country should be brought back to the civilization first Then participation in Eurovision will be a natural result.

Sot
Sot
1 month ago
Reply to  Cem Yildiz

Waiiiit your name seems Turkic… Are you Azeri or something cause yeah you’re not exactly obeying the human rights laws either…

ales
ales
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

ok so you aren’t allowed to be critical of your own government now? ok….

Charles
Charles
1 month ago
Reply to  ales

Can you say the word “Armenia” or you don’t have it in your dictionary?

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
1 month ago

Ok but here’s a conspiracy case: 2007 and 2017 (52nd and 62nd editions) – 42 countries country that never won before wins (Serbia and Portugal) 2008 and 2018 (53rd and 63rd editions) – 43 countries 2009 and 2019 (54th and 64th editions) – a country withdraws due to Russia related problems (Georgia and Ukraine) 2010 and 2021 (55th and 65th editions) – 39 countries, Hungary and Montenegro withdrawing and big 5 country wins (Germany and Italy) In 2011 (the 56th edition) Italy returned to the contest after a long absence which means that in 2022 (the 66th edition) there should… Read more »

Sot
Sot
1 month ago

Wowww that’s some great thinking right there I would say it’s more possible to just have a really SHOCKING result, as in 2011 (Bulgaria out, Azerbaijan wins, Estonia almost NQ’s, France goes from the bookies’ favourite to 14th place (?), Greece climbs up to 7th, Turkey NQ’s for the 1st time, Romania is surprisingly in the final, Latvia flops, Moldova qualifies, Serbia also qualifies, Lithuania also qualifies, Italy comes 2nd (!!!), Switzerland is in (last place tho), Ukraine comes 5th and so on)

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

It also means that 2022 should be a very weak year 😐

Last edited 1 month ago by esc2021rotterdam
Sot
Sot
1 month ago

Phew that’s subjective but I couldn’t agree more. After all, 2001 and 1991 were also weak years imo, with a few exceptions each time…

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

But I really hope that it won’t be weak songwise tho

Jake
Jake
1 month ago

Shame that the countries with questionable leadership send the best songs. Come back Turkey and Hungary 🙁

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

The new exec guy is desperate to bring back Turkey just like Ola did with Italy. In addition, Turkey will bring up the total number of viewers for Eurovision shows.

Negotiating for their return makes me think that they’re planning for a warm welcome like Italy had in 2011.

What i don’t like about Turkey is that their diaspora will hijack the televoting in Western countries even if their entry is mediocre (see 2005/2006). That’s my only concern.

Gino
Gino
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

2006 is the 2nd best turkish entry after 1980 but go off.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Gino

2006 is definitely not a memorable or good song. It was trash.

Jo.
Jo.
1 month ago

Turkey, Sweden, Russia, Italy and Ukraine, that’d be THE big 5

Mariia
1 month ago
Reply to  Jo.

I agree about the countries but without Russia

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago

I will say that 2012-13 (right when Turkey left ESC) was when the country took a nosedive into authoritarianism. Before then, a lot of people in the Middle East admired Turkey for managing to be a functioning democracy in a Muslim majority country that Muslims and non Muslims alike could participate in, to the extent that in the early days of the Arab Spring, a lot of revolutionary movements wanted to make their countries like Turkey…oh how the times have changed.

Maybe returning to ESC will pave the way for Turkey to become more democratic (I’m kidding).

Eugenie
Eugenie
1 month ago

I will be downvoted now, but I don’t give a damn about their regime and their LGBT policy. I watch the show for songs and I will be happy if Turkey returns.

Shuma
Shuma
1 month ago
Reply to  Eugenie

That’s not how you get downvotes. This is how you get downvotes

Turkey are right about the juries, they need to be 25% at best.

hhhhurricane
hhhhurricane
1 month ago
Reply to  Shuma

ask and you shall receive

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago

TRT withdrew not just because of political differences but also due to petty reasons – the big 5 rule (a somewhat reasonable grievance) and the reintroduction of the juries (which killed their diaspora advantage).

Also if Moroccan Oil remain the ESC’s sponsor for 2022 I can see them not returning just because of that.

Shuma
Shuma
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

What’s the deal with Morrocan Oil???

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  Shuma

Moroccan Oil is an Israeli company and the Turkish government (and even parts of the Turkish public who would want a return to ESC and don’t like Erdogan’s conservatism) aren’t very happy with Israel at the moment for a myriad of reasons.

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

Lmao, what are you even talking about? Do you really think that such a small detail can influence our participation? No one would even care about if Moroccan Oil is Israeli or not. Plus, there are so many other Israeli brands in Turkey, such as Ariel and many others.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

Lol that’s not a reason to withdraw and no one is bothered with that israeli company. Honestly.. Turkish people want to watch Eurovision and have their country compete but the problem is conservative TRT.

Sot
Sot
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

Moroccan oil will NOT sponsor the contest either way… Each year they choose a different one, in 2018 it was VisitPortugal, in 2019 the sponsor was MyHeritage and now Moroccan oil… No one knows who will be the next on the line

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

Moroccan oil can be a sponsor next year. Osram has been the lightning sponsor for many years. Schwarzkopf was the beauty partner from 2011 up till 2015.

Alo
Alo
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

They will sponser the contest until 2024 at least(already confirmed)

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago

Ok.. if TRT still announces that they won’t return (which is still possible) after so much hype, I won’t say anything anymore. This is the first time that Eurovision got so much coverage in Turkish media. Both the semi finals and the grand final livestream entered the Turkish trends on Youtube and the same applies to Efendi’s semi final and grand final performance. Considering we’ve been out for more than 9 years, this is truly unbelievable and shows how much Turkish fans embrace the contest. This is also the first time that we’ve received news on the part of the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by ROXELANA
Erik
Erik
1 month ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

Yes. We don’t want to get too exited. Also, maybe turkey will say yes a lot and use the hype to blackmail and say they will only enter if the EBU decide to remove the big 5 for the future

Alo
Alo
1 month ago

The Turkish fans deserve it,but I hope the people in charge will not talk rubbish again.

esc1234
esc1234
1 month ago

even though i highly dislike the Turkish regime, they are away for almost 10 years and the interest is still high, the livestram of the contest was trending on Youtube etc. If they wanna come back without any political songs and anti LGBT propaganda, they are welcome. If not, the should follow the belarus path and wont come back ever

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  esc1234

TRT won’t be dumb enough to send a homophobic song. The only issues that would arise regarding LGBTQ+ rights would come with hosting. In terms of songs, Turkey would behave itself regarding content matter.

Cem Yildiz
Cem Yildiz
1 month ago

So EBU which claims celebrating diversity is in contact with the man who said this after Conchita’s win: “As a public broadcaster we cannot broadcast live at 9pm, when children are watching, an Austrian with a beard and a skirt, who claims not to have a gender and says ‘I am a man and a woman at the same time. Turkey would return to the contest once this confusion in mentality (is) corrected”.
He is the head of the broadcaster!

ales
ales
1 month ago
Reply to  Cem Yildiz

exactly! the behavior of the broadcaster is a no-go… I hope they don’t come back…

Shuma
Shuma
1 month ago

Hope they come back.
Want to Turkey to be more accepting of LGBT
and for EBU to weaken the power of the undemocratic juries.

Leo
Leo
1 month ago

Really hoping they return to the contest next year
Also crossing my fingers for Armenia and Kazakhstan

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Leo

armenia will most likely return… the HoD said he will announce great news soon!

esc_fl
esc_fl
1 month ago
Reply to  Leo

I’m hoping Armenia comes back (most likely) but Kazakhstan should debut as well!

Mariia
1 month ago
Reply to  esc_fl

I would love Kazakhstan to take part, their music is amazing