Turkey: The EBU releases statement on the discussions with TRT regarding their potential return to the Eurovision Song Contest

Turkey: The EBU releases statement on the discussions with TRT regarding their potential return to the Eurovision Song Contest
Thursday, 24 June 2021

  • The EBU through an official statement confirmed the talks with the Turkish broadcaster, TRT, regarding a potential return of the country to the Eurovision Song Contest.

    Almost a week ago TRT's General Manager, İbrahim Eren, taking to Milliyet, revealed that national broadcaster is in discussions with EBU regarding the Eurovision Song Contest. Today EBU through a statement released confirmed those talks and the objective of bringing Turkey back to Eurovision.

    The EBU's statement released mentioned the following: 

    "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."

    The Turkish broadcaster TRT announced in December 2012 that they would not participate in the 2013 contest in Malmö, citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the competition. 2013 was the first time since 1973 that there was no television broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest on TRT.

    With EBU's statement it is clear that the two sides are working to make Turkey's comeback in the contest feasible. Like all countries members of EBU the deadline to confirm participation expires mid September. However the broadcaster have an additional period until mid October to withdraw without paying any penalty. 


    Turkey In Eurovision

    Turkey has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 34 times since its debut in 1975. Since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, Turkey has only failed to qualify for the final once, in 2011. Turkey won the contest once in 2003, and hosted the 2004 contest in Istanbul.

    Turkey finished last on its debut at the contest in 1975, and went on to finish last with nul points in 1983 and 1987. They reached the top ten for the first time in 1986. Şebnem Paker achieved the country's first top five result in 1997, finishing third with the song "Dinle".

    The country went on to achieve five more top five placements after the introduction of the free language rule and televoting, with Sertab Erener giving Turkey its first victory in 2003 with the song "Everyway That I Can", narrowly defeating Belgium by two points. Turkey's other top five results are Athena (2004), Kenan Doğulu (2007), Hadise (2009), who all finished fourth, and the  metal band MaNga (2010), who finished second.

    Last time Turkey participated in the contest was in Baku at Eurovision 2012 when the country was represented by Can Bonomo with his Song “Love Me Back” .

    Lets remember some of Turkey’s remarkable past entries in the Eurovision Song Contest :