Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of talk about the possibility of Turkey considering a Eurovision return. As of today, the European Broadcasting Union has weighed in on this matter, and are currently in talks with the Turkish broadcaster to secure their return to the contest.
“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.”
Turkey made their Eurovision debut in 1975 with an unfortunate last place finish. As the years went on, Turkey struggled to set the scoreboard alight, and quite often found themselves near the bottom of the scoreboard. In 1997, Şebnem Paker achieved Turkey’s first ever top 5 finish, when she finished in 3rd place with “Dinle”.
Turkey achieved their first Eurovision win with Sertab Erener in 2003, bringing the 2004 contest to Istanbul. They enjoyed a successful run of top 10 and top 5 placings up until their last participation in 2012.
In December 2012, Turkey announced that they would be withdrawing from Eurovision. They cited many reasons for their withdrawal, including the change in the voting system, which saw re-introduction of the juries in 2009, and the status of the Big 5 countries. In 2018, the General Manager of TRT, İbrahim Eren, confirmed that they have no plans to bring Turkey back to Eurovision, citing Conchita Wurst’s win in 2014 as one of the reasons, along with the voting and the Big 5.
Do you think the European Broadcasting Union will be successful in bringing Turkey back to The Eurovision Song Contest? Let us know what you think in the comments below!