It seemed today that Turkish broadcaster TRT might have been the first to select its representative for the Serbian Eurovision Song Contest of 2008, as reports suggested that singer Hande Yener will be flying the flag for Turkey in Belgrade. However, it was not long before the rumour began to lose ground as it emerged that the proposal may have been rejected.
The singer, speaking to reporters mere days after Kenan Dogulu's sensational fourth place in Helsinki, explained that TRT officials had approached her just two days after the Finnish Eurovision Song Contest final. The contract between her and the station was ready to be finalised within fifteen days, and the plan was to send her to Serbia with a song in English.
Another high profile participant
Hande Yener, born in 1973, brings an alternative sound to the Turkish music scene, and in true diva style is prone to dramatic changes of appearance. Backed by seven album releases already, she is one of Turkey's most enduring and popular stars of the decade, and would continue a run of high-profile entrants for the broadcaster after recent stars such as 2003 winner Sertab Erener, Sibel Tüzün and Kenan Dogulu.
Confirmation of acceptance or rejection from the broadcaster is expected soon. As ever, the rumour mill is running at full speed in a country where Eurovision participation is hotly followed by the national press. In the meantime, below is a video montage of some of Hande's hits. Visit the official fan club homepage at this link for more information (in Turkish).