The European Broadcasting Union has released a statement regarding recent discussions surrounding Turkey’s return to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Following the statement made last week by the Director-General of TRT that stated that discussions had started between the EBU and the broadcaster regarding the Eurovision Song Contest. The EBU has now released the following statement on that matter:
“Although the EBU’s Turkish Member TRT hasn’t participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2012 we know there is still huge interest in Turkey in the Contest underlined by the large amount of engagement on our social channels from Turkish fans.
With that in mind, we are in contact with TRT with the aim of bringing them back into the competition.
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.”
From the statement, it is clear the EBU is working with the aim of bringing Turkey back into the Eurovision Song contest for the first time since 2012.
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 neighboring country Azerbaijan.
The European Broadcasting Union has on numerous occasions 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.
Image Source: Eurovision.tv | Source: EBU
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.