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Turkey: TRT Wishes To Be More Involved With EBU Events

The Turkish national broadcaster is looking to be more involved in EBU events, following the election of TRT General Manager İbrahim Eren to the Executive Board of the EBU.

According to the EBU, the Turkish national broadcaster TRT is looking to become more involved in EBU events. The news comes after the election of the General Manager of TRT, İbrahim Eren to the Executive Board of the EBU. According to an email to ESC Turkey, the EBU commented;

TRT has confirmed that it will not participate in the competition this year. However, in 2019, Ibrahim Eren said that he wanted to restart cooperation with EBU in all other sectors. 

Based on the strengthening of cooperation, we hope to come back again to Eurovision the agenda of Turkey.

Turkey has according to the EBU has decided that they will be participating in the Eurovision Asia Song Contest. The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre is reportedly set to host the inaugural Eurovision Asia Song Contest between November 30 to December 7, 2019. A total of 16 countries are reported to take part in the inaugural edition of the competition, with the final list to be revealed to the public in May 2019.

Turkey 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 European Broadcasting Union has on numerous ocassions welcomed a possible return of Turkey to the competition. Before their withdrawal from the competition Turkey was one of the largest markets for the competition will millions of viewers tuning in to the competition every year.

According to reports from 2009 the contest repeatedly broke viewing records for TRT year on year, bringing in millions in advertising payments during the contest. The Grand Final in 2009 was watched by 58.54% of viewers and was the most watched show of the week.

Source: ESC Turkey

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.

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