Turkey has brought on stage some of the most popular entries during the years of its partcipation in the contest, since 1975 till 2012. Among this songs is the winning entry Every way that i can,  performed by Sertab Erener  that brought the contest to Istanbul in 2004.

Unfortunately, the last 7 years Turkey is absent from competition, as the national broadcaster TRT has outlined its disagreement to the juries’ return in the contest and the priveledge of the BIG-5 qualifying to the final. However the reasons of her absense go much deeper, as its finding difficulty to accepts aspects of free expression and diversity, fundamental values of the Eurovision Song Contest. Βέβαια οι αιτίες αποχής της Τουρκίας δείχνουν να είναι αρκετά πιο βαθιές, καθώς η Τουρκία δείχνει να απομακρύνεται από ευρωπαϊκές αξίες που είναι και αξίες του διαγωνισμού όπως η ελευθερίας έκφρασης και η αποδοχή της διαφορετικότητας. TRT’s General director,  Ibrahim Eren, had made it clear in his statements back in August:

There are no plans for returning yet. There are reasons for this, as the voting system. As a public broadcaster, we can’t broadcast a show where there is a bearded woman, skirt wearing,non-gender declared winner who says “I’m a woman and a man” at 21:00 when there are children watching it. I told directly EBU that they have drawn themselves away from their values. Other countries also decided not to participate because of this. There is a mind confusion due to the organizers. If there is a change on this we will return.”

Despite these statement, it seems that a wind of change has been blowing in the relations between  EBU and TRT, as latest statements by Ibrahim Eren to  ESCTurkey.com, confirmed Turkey’s intention of participating in the first Eurovision Asia, to take place next December at Gold Coast in Australia. In these new statements TRT’s general director confirmed that Turkey’s participation the Eurovision Asia aims to establish a restart in TRT’s relations with EBU, a position that leaves the door open for a future comeback in the Eurovision Song Contest. 

Just a week before EBU referred to the new elected Executive Board member of which  general manager of TRT Ibrahim Eren, was elected as member. Therefore the latest statements plus the election of Mr. Eren on the EBU board have offered a new blow to the EBU and TRT relations.

Turkey is the 17th country to comfirm its participation in the forthcoming Asia Eurovision and is the only active member of EBU. The other 16 countries that have expressed interest in Asia Eurovision are:  Australia, Vanuatu, Vietnam, United Arabic Emirates, Japan. India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Chine, Maldives, New Zealand, North Korea, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Hing Kong.

Would you like to see Turkey back in Eurovision? Let remember some of the top Turkish past entries in the competition: