Can you feel the rhythm in your heart and is the beat going düm tek tek? If so, then you’re probably a fan of Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest. And you’re probably well-aware that, after years of openly criticising the presence of juries at Eurovision, Turkish broadcaster TRT are in talks to re-join the contest.

Turkey endured a very long history at the very bottom of the scoreboard, making it perhaps one of the most underrated countries in the history of the contest. Between 1975 and 2002, Turkey finished last three times – in 1975, 1983 and 1987. In fact, until 2003, they only managed to reach the top 5 once — in 1997 with “Dinle”.

Eventually Turkey’s patience paid off — partly because countries of the so-called New Europe began joining the contest. The stats are remarkable. In stark contrast to their first 28 years in the contest, Turkey achieved 5 top placings — including one victory — in only 10 years between 2003 and 2012. They only missed qualification from the semi-final once in their 9 attempts – that was in 2011. They may have been late bloomers, but boy did they bloom! In 2003 Sertab Erener gave the country its first and so far only win with “Every Way That I Can”.

Turkey managed to do very well with rock throughout the 00’s (bar 2011). In 2004, when Turkey hosted the contest in Istanbul, their act Athena sang “For Real” – a punk rock song. They finished fourth — an unusually high placing for a host nation. Four years later, Mor ve Ötesi, an alternative rock band, came seventh in Belgrade. And in 2010 it was MaNga with their unforgettable “We Could be the Same” which came second – Turkey’s best result since Sertab’s win.

So, as we wait to find out if and when Turkey will finally make its triumphant return to the song contest, we just have to ask: Who is your favourite Eurovision act from Turkey since 2000? You can vote in our poll below. If you need a reminder of who’s who, then just scroll down to re-live all these iconic performances…

Poll: Who is Turkey’s best Eurovision entry since 2000?

You can vote for as many acts as you want, but you can only vote ONE time. Be sure to click the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit.

2000: Pinar Ayhan and Grup SOS

2001: Sedat Yuce

2002: Buket Bengisu

2003: Sertab Erener

2004: Athena

2005: Gulseren

2006: Sibel Tuzun

2007: Kenan Dogulu

2008: Mor ve Otesi

2009: Hadise

2010: maNga

2011: Yuksek Sadakat

2012: Can Bonomo

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Grey
Grey
28 days ago

Sertab and Mor ve Ötesi! The others are not even close

Nils
Nils
29 days ago

Athena. Easily.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
29 days ago

Luckily there are cultured people voting in this poll. MaNga is by far Turkey’s best entry in the 2000s.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
29 days ago
Reply to  GojoSatoru

I meant since the 2000s. 2010 isn’t 2000s anymore.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
29 days ago

best: sertab
worst: buket

Colono
Colono
29 days ago

As a Turkish fan, I find most of those entries overrated. All of them got better results than they deserved, except two. Sertab was a well deserved winner and I think she really managed to open a path for some of her succesors. Song was good, staging was everything we needed. Overall it was a total package. And Manga.. Their song was meh for me but the stage performance was exceptional. I still can’t believe that such a spectacular show came from my country lol. Ps. Dum Tek Tek was a really good song for it’s time but Hadise literally… Read more »

Euro Fan
Euro Fan
29 days ago
Reply to  Colono

Fun Fact: Say Na Na Na and I Didn’t Know was sung by a Turkish singer Serhat while representing San Marino. Both of them are half-Turkish entries in Eurovision when it comes San Marino in 2016 and 2019.

Last edited 29 days ago by Euro Fan
Colin
Colin
29 days ago
Reply to  Colono

The paradox is that IMHO Turkey’s 2002 entry was simply abysmal, and by all means should’ve been relegated. But, since it was overrated, Turkey got to participate in 2003, and we got the excellent Everyway That I Can, a very well deserved winner. Sometimes life works in unpredictable paths. In a similar fashion, many countries returned super-strong after having a bad entry in the previous year. Examples: Estonia was terrible in 2008, but returned with a masterpiece in 2009! Switzerland has hit the rock bottom in 2004, only to bring a stunning song in 2005! Slovenia was hard to go… Read more »

Nils
Nils
29 days ago
Reply to  Colono

Sertab really was the blueprint for both Ruslana and Helena Paparizou as well as many more entries of that era.

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago

Dinle is their best ever, I’d vote for that if I could.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

now we say it

Euro Fan
Euro Fan
29 days ago

I love all except 2005, 2006 and 2011. 2000, 2001 and 2002 were decent. Also, Say Na Na Na and I Didn’t Know sang by a Turkish singer Serhat (although he represented San Marino).

Last edited 29 days ago by Euro Fan
Emma
Emma
29 days ago

Interesting to ban one dictatorship and invite another one haha

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
29 days ago
Reply to  Emma

Honestly, I’m so sick of these comments. We haven’t been participating for almost 10 years now, what is your problem??
If you hate us so much in the contest, then pray for a Non-confirmation, my God..

It’s not even sure if we will participate at all, but all your negativity is just annoying.

Then disqualify all the other dictatorshipse as well for God’s sake!!

Jake
Jake
29 days ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

We love the Turkish entries, but the EBU are being very hypocritical. It’s very strange to ban Belarus but invite Turkey back.

Sot
Sot
29 days ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

She doesn’t hate you. Likewise, EBU doesn’t hate Belarussians. The government is the problem in both cases

Last edited 29 days ago by Sot
Totorino
Totorino
29 days ago

I still to this day wonder how Turkey from 2005-2007 did so well. All 3 performances were awful, but Turkish diaspora at the end of the day helped its chances.

Euro Fan
Euro Fan
29 days ago
Reply to  Totorino

Rimi Rimi Ley is one of the worst songs i’ve ever heard.

Nils
Nils
29 days ago
Reply to  Euro Fan

‘Rimi rimi ley’ was rubbish, but ‘Shake it up, Sekerim’ was actually quite good for its time, although that might be hard to imagine nowadays.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
29 days ago
Reply to  Totorino

you answered yourself, it’s all turkish diaspora. just look at their votes breakdown and you’ll see it’s ALL central european countries with turkish diaspora and former balkan vilayets giving them sets of 8-10-12 while the rest of the continent paid them dust.

Ieva
Ieva
29 days ago

Mor ve Otesi!

Colin
Colin
29 days ago

My personal top 13 of Turkish entries: 2010 – In my top 6 of 2010. Beautiful lyrics, amazing melody and energy. 🙂 2001 – My runner-up of 2001. Gorgeous, magical, unpredictable melody. 🙂 2003 – My winner of 2003. A deserving winner! 🙂 2008 – Pretty badass rock song. Very energetic and interesting. 🙂 2012 – A fun (so far) last rendition in the contest. It’s catchy. 2009 – Overrated, but catchy and fun. I guess it’s just slightly too repetitive. 2004 – Speaking of repetitive… but the energy is there, and it was fun. 2005 – It’s a bit… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Colin
Evridiki
Evridiki
29 days ago

Everyway That I Can
Deli
Dum Tek Tek
For Real
We Could Be The Same
These 5 were (and still are) absolutely great songs and were performed very well (maNga did the best job).

I also have to mention both songs Sebnem Paker performed in Eurovision (1996 & 1997).

Turkey have certainly left its mark on the Contest, so I would love them to come back and share their music this way 🙂

NickC
NickC
29 days ago

While Sertab Erener and Manga are the obvious choices that made us proud, I have to admit I have a soft spot for Pinar Ayhan and Yorgunum Anla. It has that “Ankara melancholy” that ages really well with years.

Sot
Sot
29 days ago

2000: No interest at all listening to it but 2000 was in general a weak year for ESC 2001: I can say it was cute but, again, nothing else interesting to watch or hear 2002: Her voice is SO ANNOYING AAAAAAAAAA 2003: ESC classic, not my cup of tea tho and she scared me when I was younger 2004: Ok that’s straight up a bop… One of the best host acts of all time 2005: Guilty pleasure but dang it definitely deserved last place 2006: Yikes 2007: Overrated but danceable so why not 2008: I don’t wanna be that guy… Read more »

Rantik
Rantik
29 days ago

Sometimes Turkey sent good songs, such as 2003,2004,2008-2010, but others were unpretentious and forgettable and they achieved good results only thanks to the support of the diaspora. Anyway I would like to see they return cuz they bring some diversity in the contest

For me:
1. 2003
2. 2004
3 2008

Mr X
Mr X
29 days ago

The best ones are Mor ve ötesi and Manga.

I don´t like at all Sibel, Kenan and Yüksek Sadakat.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
29 days ago

First of all, I love Turkey in Eurovision and really love their songs But don’t you guys think that it’s a bit hypocritical to simp like that for Turkey while celebrating Belarus being out of the competition? BTRC were a huge problem in Belarus where as TRT didn’t try to make anything political, that’s true But both countries are not that democratic etc. I will say that – TRT weren’t political in Eurovision and the Turkish people simply want to take part as they love Eurovision. But I’m not a fan of helping their government and Erdugan to show how… Read more »

Colin
Colin
29 days ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

I am not a fan of the current Turkish way of governing either, but if they can behave normally upon their return (transmit the whole contest, send a song *not about dictatorship*, ect.), then perhaps we can open-up a dialogue. We did the same with Belarus when they were sending Da vidna, Like It, and other songs. Then things became too blatant. 🙁

Last edited 29 days ago by Colin
Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Sometimes I think it’s actually better if they reveal themselves as they actually are – the illusion of normalcy is how these dictatorships can last so long.

Nils
Nils
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Wise words

Jake
Jake
30 days ago

Let’s be real—there’s a lot of offkey happening in lots of these performances. I still can’t believe Can Bonomo got a top 10 finish—if any other country were to do that performance, it would’ve been ridiculed. The split between the televote (diaspora) and jury was striking that year—which is why Turkey left. They were pissed off the juries weren’t buying what they sold. Turkey has always succeeded because of very very strong televote. With that said—Manga was EPIC and probably deserved to win.

Steven
Steven
30 days ago

I also like the 1982 song : Neco – Hani? Especially the backup dancers get the best out of themselves.

Ern
Ern
30 days ago

Looking through these videos, most of Turkey’s entries really weren’t all that good. They did well with diaspora votes before the jury system, but most of these entries don’t really sand the test of time.

One notable exception is “Deli” by Mor ve Otesi. That actually was a pretty good entry, and it actually sounds better today than it did them.

Last edited 30 days ago by Ern
PP77
PP77
30 days ago

My Top 3

1.2003
2.2004
3.2010

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
30 days ago

We Could Be The Same, Düm Tek Tek, Everyway That I Can, For Real and Deli

Last edited 30 days ago by ROXELANA
fionn
fionn
30 days ago

maNga!!!! and hadise ofc

Shuma
Shuma
30 days ago

Everyway That I Can, or Dum Tek Tek