Turkey: TRT will not return to Eurovision in 2020

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 3,672 views

TRT (Turkish national broadcaster) and Turkey will not participate at the forthcoming 2020 Eurovision in The Netherlands.

Eurovision fans will be dissapointed to know that Turkey will not return to the competition next year either and thus joins the list of countries who have confirmed their non participation at next year’s 2020 Eurovision edition.

Turkey’s decision to remain absent from competition in 2020, will mark the country’s eighth consecutive year out of the contest.

Why did Turkey withdraw?

Turkey withdrew from the competition in 2013 and has remained absent since, thus missing out the last 7 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.

Turkey in Eurovision

Turkey debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1975 and has won the competition once, namely  in 2003 with Sertab Erener‘s Every way that I can. The following year the Turks successfully hosted the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul with a record 36 countries.

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).