It was revealed today that the singer Atiye had been selected to represent Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 before TRT decided to withdraw.
In an interview with AlemFM, composer Sinan Akcil, who wrote “Düm Tek Tek” (Turkey ESC 2009) and “Hoppa” (Turkey Turkvision 2014), he surprised everyone by revealing that TRT had actually selected Atiye to represent the country in Stockholm. Sinan Akcil was also put in charge of composing the song for Atiye. However, TRT later decided that they would not participate in the contest and withdrew their interest in participation.
Sinan Akcil’s statements coincide with those of Bülent Özveren, a former Turkish commentator at Eurovision, who had told the same story. Sinan Akcil also said that Turkey should return to the European Song Contest in 2018. “The TRT team has changed and the return must happen,” he said.
Atiye is a well known Turkish singer. Born in Germany, she has several success singles such as Salla, Uyanda Gel and her latest offering Maazallah.
Turkey withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 in protest to the inclusion of jury voting in the contest. Reports at the time stated that Turkey had been due to withdraw from the contest in 2012, however attended the contest in Azerbaijan after intervention from the President of Azerbaijan. TRT has also not broadcast the contest since 2012. They planned to do so in 2013 but made a late decision not to. This decision was rumored to be because of a same-sex kiss at the end of the Finnish entry “Marry Me”. Their return to the contest has been rumored every year since their withdrawal but none have ever come to fruition.
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Turkey first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1975. During the 20th century, Turkey only managed to place in the top 10 on two occasions, ninth in 1986 and third in 1997. Turkey won in 2003 with “Every Way That I Can”, their first ever entry completely in English. They went on to achieve six top 10 results in the following years. They withdrew in 2013, citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the contest.