Is Turkey coming to Lisbon next year or not? Will we see the country return to the contest after a 5 year hiatus? Many of us are quizzed to know the country’s decision specially after all the speculation and rumours doing the grapevine.
The Story so far
Sertab Erener the 2003 Turkish Eurovision winner sparked off rumours last month when she stated that Turkey was eyeing to return to Eurovision. In the aftermath of rumours, rejoinders and speculation last week Turkish group mAnga threw more flame into the fire by tweeting about a possible return to the contest next year.
All this has lead to a massive hype both in the Turkish and international press of a potential Turkish participation at next year’s Eurovision edition sending Eurovision fans into a frenzy whilst we could hear the squeals of delight backstage.
The plot thickens….
To get the plot more intriguing there was a major twist in the story today. Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Bekir Bozdag visited TRT Headquarters in Ankara where he met up with the assembled press and media. During the press meet he stated that Turkey will not return to Eurovision next year. The statement was tweeted by TRT Haber but later removed, whist many major Turkish media outlets and newspapers published the news.
No Turkish return in Lisbon
TRT has confirmed that Turkey will not be returning to Eurovision next year via TRT Haber quoting Mr. Bozdag’s answer to wether the country was planning to return to the contest:
If Turkey is returning to the Eurovision Song Contest and if TRT is preparing on this matter is untrue.
Turkey in Eurovision
Turkey joined the Eurovision family in 1975 and has won the competition in 2003 with Sertab Erener‘s Every way that I can. The country struggled in the competition in its early days but saw a sudden reversal of fortunes with the introduction of televoting in 1997, when Turkey achieved its first top 5 placing with Sebnem Paker‘s Dinle. Since then the Eurovision journey has been a happy one with a total of 9 top 10 placings.
The Turks have achieved a total of 6 top 5 placings in the contest in their 42 year history: 1 victory (2003), 1 2nd place (2010), 1 3rd place (1997), 3 4th places (1997, 2007 and 2009).
Why did Turkey withdraw?
Turkey withdrew from the competition in 2013 and has remained absent since, thus missing out the last 5 Eurovision editions.
Turkey decided to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013. TRT, the national Turkish broadcaster, announced in a communique on their official website on the 14 December 2012 that Turkey would not compete at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden.
The broadcaster’s reasons for withdrawing from the event in 2013 event were that the changes in the voting system of the contest: introduction of 50/50 jury and televoting deliberation, and the Big 5 rule, enabling Spain, Italy, the UK, France and Germany to automatically qualify every year for the final. The broadcaster expressed its discontent regarding these rules and felt they were not fair.
The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 8, 10 and 12 May in Lisbon, Portugal.
The deadline for broadcasters to officially apply for Eurovision 2018 concludes by mid September. Hereafter, countries have a grace period to confirm their participation or withdraw their application without a penalty.
The final list of the 2018 Eurovision participating countries is expected to be released by the EBU later during the year.