The Chairperson of the Eurovision Reference Group, Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling has explained how the EBU has repeatedly worked to bring Turkey back to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling in an interview with Dr Eurovision, has spoken in-depth regarding Turkey and its absence from the Eurovision Song Contest since 2012. Dr. Freiling explained;
I think I have been three or four times to Ankara and have answered each and every question asked by the local authorities and the TV channel regarding the rules and regulations of the Eurovision Song Contest, but the fact remains that Turkey, or better the director of TRT, have declared in late summer that the ESC does not necessarily conform to the understanding of culture and the values in Turkey.
While the EBU continues dialogue with TRT about returning to the contest, the EBU is not willing to compromise on the values of the Eurovision Song Contest;
That is the reason why, since Conchita’s victory, Turkey is no longer part of the contest. And we do not have the slightest intention to question the identity of the Song Contest, its diversity, its pluralism and the general values the ESC stands for. If some countries and TV stations do not want to support these values, it is their free decision.
Dr. Freiling however was clear that;
It is not up to us to declare that someone cannot be part of the show. Turkey would be more than welcome and I am trying to get them back every single year.
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 worked with TMB TV to create their own take on the Song Contest with Turkvision, for predominantly Turkic 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”.
You can watch the full interview here.
Source: Dr Eurovision
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.