According to the Deputy Prime Minister and Government Spokesman Bekir Bozdag, Turkey will not participate in next year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Rumours sparked after rock band maNga, who represented Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo, hinted at a possible return to the contest. Although they later denied that they will be returning, they thanked everyone for the support. The rumours have now been put to rest as Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Bekir Bozdag, stated “There is nothing like that now”.
maNga weren’t the only past Turkish representatives to show their interest in Turkey returning to the contest. Recently Sertab Erener, who won the contest for Turkey in 2003, said on her Instagram that she would like to see Turkey return to the contest.
To begin with, Turkey wasn’t the luckiest of countries at the contest, placing last on their debut in 1975, and getting nul points in 1983 and 1987. Turkey recently withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013, after disagreements with some rules such as the Big Five. Their last entry to date was Can Bonomo with his Song “Love Me Back” in 2012, where it was hosted in neighbouring country Azerbaijan. They haven’t returned since, and took it upon themselves to create their own take on the Song Contest with Turkvision, for predominantly Turkish speaking countries. Turkey has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul in 2004, after Sertab Erener’s win the previous year. Behind their win in 2003, maNga is the most successful Turkish entry, placing 2nd with 170 points in the final with their song “We Could Be The Same”.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will take place in Lisbon, Portugal on the 8th, 10th, and 12th May next year. So far 22 countries have provisionally confirmed their participation, including Russia, who withdrew from the 2017 contest in Ukraine.