Turkish broadcaster TRT has denied recent newspaper reports claiming that the Turkish Foreign Ministry brought pressure on the state broadcaster to prevent an appearance by the Cypriot Eurovision Song Contest entrant, Annet Artani.
Several sources claimed this week that TRT had cancelled bookings for the singer to perform her 2006 entry Why angels cry. The broadcaster has since stated that this was incorrect, as there had never been any plans to feature Artani in any of its shows, apart from the usual appearance during the contest previews.
Muhsin Yildirim, head of the Turkish Eurovision Song Contest delegation, explained to DotEurovision.com: “These false reports are not based on any official information and are completely one-sided”. He added; “Our singer, Sibel Tüzün, did visit Cyprus and during that visit it was she who invited Annet Artani to visit Turkey. The arrangements were made by Sibel and we have no information about what she has planned”.
Tüzün is currently in Spain to promote Süper star. When newspaper Hurriyet contacted her for comment, she confirmed that she had issued the invite, though with the consent of TRT. She was said to be “shocked to hear that this had become a political issue in Turkey”. She added she saw “little connection between music and politics” and just wanted get on with her job. The Turkish media, meanwhile, did report that Annet Artani will go ahead with her Turkish visit and will be appearing on several TV shows produced by “commercial, independent broadcasters”.