The European Broadcasting Union has responded to the comments of the Head of TRT, regarding why the station isn’t returning to the Eurovision Song Contest.
In the past week the Head of Turkish national broadcaster İbrahim Eren voiced his thoughts on the Eurovision Song Contest, at a panel at a İbn Haldun University in Istanbul.
Mr Eren gave a number of reasons for why TRT is has not returned to the contest since their withdrawal in 2012, he stated;
We don’t consider to rejoin the contest. We have reasons like the voting system. As a public broadcaster, we also cannot broadcast live at 9 p.m. –when children are still awake– someone like the bearded Austrian who wore a skirt, do not believe in genders and says that he is both a man and a woman
Mr Eren’s comments refer to Conchita Wurst the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. In 2013 TRT pulled its broadcast of the competition following the Finnish entries inclusion of same sex kissing between singer Krista Siegfrids and a backing singer. The General Manager added;
I have told the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on the Eurovision issue that they deviated from their values. As a result, other countries also left Eurovision. There is a mental chaos at the EBU because of its executives. If they can fix it, we can join Eurovision again
Responding to the comments of the Head of TRT, the EBU released a statement to Reuters reading;
The Eurovision Song Contest’s values are of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.
TRT has made a huge contribution to the contest in the past, including hosting the event in Istanbul in 2004, and we would very much welcome them back should they decide to participate again.
TRT has also previously voiced its displeasure with the current Big Five setup in the competition. The five largest financial contributors to the EBU; France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom all automatically qualify for the Grand Final of the competition. In contrast all other nations excluding the host country must qualify through the semi-finals.