Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Turkey
Turkey
Member stationTurkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT)
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances34 (33 finals)
First appearance1975
Last appearance2012
Best result1st: 2003
Worst resultLast: 1975, 1983, 1987
Nul points: 1983, 1987
External links
TRT page
Turkey's page at Eurovision.tv
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012

Turkey has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 34 times since 1975. Since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, the only year that Turkey participated and failed to advance to the finals was in 2011. Turkey won the contest once in 2003, and hosted the 2004 contest in Istanbul.

Turkey finished last on its debut at the contest in 1975, and went on to finish last with "nul points" in 1983 and 1987. They reached the top ten for the first time in 1986. Sebnem Paker achieved the country's first top five result in 1997, finishing third with the song "Dinle".

They went on to achieve five more top five placements after the introduction of the free language rule and televoting, with Sertab Erener giving Turkey its first victory in 2003 with the song "Everyway That I Can", narrowly defeating Belgium by two points. Turkey's other top five results are Athena (2004), Kenan Doğulu (2007), Hadise (2009), who all finished fourth, and the nu metal band maNga (2010), who finished second.

The TRT announced in December 2012 that they would not attend the 2013 contest in Malmö, citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the competition.[1] 2013 was the first time since 1973 that there was no television broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest on TRT. In September 2013, TRT stated a return is unlikely for the 2014 competition, citing the same reasons.[2][3]

History[edit]

Turkish Radio and Television Corporation involvement in the Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

The national broadcasting service of Turkey, the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), was one of the charter members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in 1950 along with eighteen countries around Europe, including Tunisia. As an intercontinental country (with lands in Eastern Thrace and Western Asia), Turkey takes part in a multitude of Western organizations including a NATO membership as of 1952, and an associate membership in the European Economic Community as of 1959.

TRT televised the Eurovision Song Contest between 1973 and 2012, even in the years that they were not participating in the contest.

1970s[edit]

Turkey participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in the 1975 Contest, held in Stockholm, Sweden. Greece did not take part in the 1975 Contest for "unknown reasons" according to the EBU, but it was discovered that the withdrawal was in protest of Turkey's debut and their invasion of Cyprus in 1974.[4][5] TRT organized a national final for select the first ever Turkish entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest. The final took place on 9 February 1975 in the studios of TRT and hosted by Bülend Özveren. The winning song was picked by averaging the ranks from the professional jury and people's jury as "Seninle Bir Dakika" (literally "A minute with you") by Semiha Yankı. At the close of voting the song had received only 3 points from Monaco and placed last.

In 1976, Greek entry aroused controversy as it was about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. This time Turkey withdrew from the Contest to protest the political background of the entry of Greece, "Panagia Mou, Panagia Mou". Turkey televised the final on 3 April 1976 but censored the Greek entrant's performance and played a nationalist Turkish song titled "Memleketim" (literally "My motherland", is the Turkish cover of Yiddish folk song "Rabbi Elimelekh") which was one of the symbols of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in Turkey. Turkey didn't take part in the Contest until 1978.

The 1979 Contest was held in Jerusalem. Turkish entry selected as "Seviyorum" (literally "I'm in love") by Maria Rita Epik but Arab countries (are the Eastern neighbours of Turkey) compelled the Turkish government to withdraw from the Contest because of Arabs state of war with the host country, Israel. So Turkey withdrew from the Contest for the third time in 1979.

1980s[edit]

In 1980, Turkish superstar Ajda Pekkan selected internally by TRT and the song, "Petrol" through a national final. Pekkan placed 15th with 23 points, including the first ever twelve points received by Turkey from Morocco. Turkey participated to the Eurovision Song Contest in the eighties incessantly. And had their best result (until 1997) in the Eurovision Song Contest 1986, when Klips ve Onlar placed 9th with the total of 53 points in Bergen, Norway. The country scored "nul points" for two times in the eighties also, one in 1983 (shared with Spain) and the other one in 1987. The Contest has seen the most famous artists of Turkey in the eighties including Ajda Pekkan, Neco, Candan Erçetin and MFÖ.

1990s[edit]

Early 1990s the Contest wasn't popular in Turkey after Kayahan, one of the most famous singers of country placed 17th out of 22 participating countries with 21 points. After Kayahan's failure, Turkey's Eurovision entrants were mostly unknown or were amateur singers until 2003. Şebnem Paker, represented the country in two consecutive years, first time being in the 1996 Contest where she qualified to the final and placed 12th and in the 1997 Contest she placed third, behind the UK and Ireland, with the song "Dinle" ("Listen"), sung in Turkish. After the free language rule was re-introduced in 1999, the first Turkish entry to be partially sung in English was at the 2000 contest. Turkey reached to the top ten a second time since 1986, and landed in the top three for the first time, making it the most successful result for them until their victory in 2003. Şebnem Paker returned to the Turkish national final in 1998, but placed fourth and did not qualify for the Contest as the Turkish participant for a third consecutive year. Tüzmen represented the country and placed 14th. Turkey participated all the series of the contest in nineties except the 1994 edition, which they relegated from participating because of their 21st place in 1993.

2000s and 2010s[edit]

In the late 1990s to early 2000s, the Contest had become one of the most popular events in Turkey as a result of the participation of the other Eastern European countries, and the victory of Sertab Erener with the song "Everyway That I Can" . Following the introduction of televoting in 1998, (initially trialed in 1997 and first implemented in Turkey in 1999) Turkey went on to achieve eight top ten results in the contest, having previously made the top ten in 1986 and 1997.

Erener's song was the first Turkish entry in the contest to be sung completely in English. TRT selected the Turkish entry through an internal selection mainly organised by OGAE Turkey in 2003. The 2004 contest was held in the Abdi Ipekci Arena, with the first ever semi-final held on Wednesday 12 May, followed by the final on Saturday 15 May. After Erener's victory (except 2004 and 2005), Turkish entries to the Contest picked internally. Turkey had always qualified to the grand final, except the 2011 Contest in Düsseldorf, since introduction of the semi-finals in 2004 and always reached to the top ten, except 2005 and 2006, until their last participation (as of 2018) in 2012. From 2000, Turkey had seven songs sung in English and four sung in both English and Turkish, with just two (2005 and 2008) songs sung entirely in Turkish.

Along with their northwestern neighbours Greece, Turkey brought the Contest a new outlook with flashy stage performances and dresses on their oriental/Mediterranean flavoured pop music products (Sertab Erener, Sibel Tüzün, Kenan Doğulu and Hadise). In 2004, 2009, 2010 and 2011, the country represented by bands, mostly being with rock influenced songs with a background of Ottoman, Eastern European and Balkans' instruments. Athena ranked 4th in 2004, when the contest was held in Istanbul; Mor ve Ötesi ranked 7th with a song completely in Turkish in 2008 and the nu metal band maNga, which named as the Best European Act in MTV Europe Music Awards 2009 ranked 2nd in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 respectively. Although Yüksek Sadakat in 2011 placed 13th in the first semi final of contest and failed to qualify, that was the first and only time that Turkey didn't qualify for the grand final. In 2012 Turkey participated to the Eurovision Song Contest for last time so far with the song "Love Me Back" completely sung in English by up and coming artist Can Bonomo, which qualified and placed 7th in the final with 112 points.

Withdrawal and controversy[edit]

TRT announced their withdrawal from the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 on 14 December 2012, citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the competition; they have yet to return.[1] According to the TRT, the changes to the televote voting system, in which a jury is introduced and the significance of televoting decreased by 50%. Televoting was instated with the purpose of boosting ratings for the Song Contest.[6][7][8] TRT did not televise either the 2013 and 2014 Contests for the first time. On 5 September the General Manager of TRT, İbrahim Şahin, officially announced that Turkey would not return to 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.[9] In November 2015 it was officially announced that Turkey would not return to the contest for 2016.[10] In August 2017, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister told journalists that Turkey would not enter the 2018 contest[11] In August 2018, İbrahim Eren, the General Manager of TRT, stated the TRT does not plan to rejoin the contest and break the boycott for various reasons, citing Conchita Wurst's representation for Austria in 2014.[12][13]

Contestants[edit]

Table key
  Winner
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
  Withdrew/Disqualified
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1975 Semiha Yankı Turkish "Seninle Bir Dakika" 19 3 No semi-finals
Did not participate in 1976 and 1977
1978 Nilüfer and Grup Nazar Turkish "Sevince" 18 2
1979 Maria Rita Epik and 21. Peron Turkish "Seviyorum" Withdrew[a]
1980 Ajda Pekkan Turkish "Petrol" 15 23
1981 Modern Folk Trio and Ayşegül Turkish "Dönme Dolap" 18 9
1982 Neco Turkish "Hani?" 15 20
1983 Çetin Alp and The Short Waves Turkish "Opera" 19 0
1984 Beş Yıl Önce, On Yıl Sonra Turkish "Halay" 12 37
1985 MFÖ Turkish "Diday diday day" 14 36
1986 Klips ve Onlar Turkish "Halley" 9 53
1987 Seyyal Taner and Lokomotif Turkish "Şarkım Sevgi Üstüne" 22 0
1988 MFÖ Turkish "Sufi" 15 37
1989 Pan Turkish "Bana Bana" 21 5
1990 Kayahan Turkish "Gözlerinin Hapsindeyim" 17 21
1991 İzel, Reyhan and Can Turkish "İki Dakika" 12 44
1992 Aylin Vatankoş Turkish "Yaz Bitti" 19 17
1993 Burak Aydos Turkish "Esmer Yarim" 21 10
1994 Did not participate
1995 Arzu Ece Turkish "Sev" 16 21
1996 Şebnem Paker Turkish "Beşinci Mevsim" 12 57 7 69
1997 Şebnem Paker and Grup Etnik Turkish "Dinle" 3 121 No semi-finals
1998 Tüzmen Turkish "Unutamazsın" 14 25
1999 Tuba Önal Turkish "Dön Artık" 16 21
2000 Pınar Ayhan and Grup SOS Turkish, English "Yorgunum Anla" 10 59
2001 Sedat Yüce Turkish, English "Sevgiliye Son" 11 41
2002 Buket Bengisu Turkish, English "Leylaklar Soldu Kalbinde" 16 29
2003 Sertab Erener English "Everyway That I Can" 1 167
2004 Athena English "For Real" 4 195 Host country[b]
2005 Gülseren Turkish "Rimi Rimi Ley" 13 92 Top 12 Previous Year[c]
2006 Sibel Tüzün Turkish, English "Süperstar" 11 91 8 91
2007 Kenan Doğulu English "Shake It Up Şekerim" 4 163 3 197
2008 Mor ve Ötesi Turkish "Deli" 7 138 7 85
2009 Hadise English "Düm Tek Tek" 4 177 2 172
2010 maNga English "We Could Be the Same" 2 170 1 118
2011 Yüksek Sadakat English "Live It Up" Failed to qualify 14 47
2012 Can Bonomo English "Love Me Back" 7 112 5 80
No participation from 2013 to present
Notes:

  1. ^ The 1979 Contest was held in the Israeli capital Jerusalem. Although TRT had selected an entry via a national final, Turkey ultimately withdrew because Arab countries (one of them, Syria, being its southern neighbor) pressured the Turkish government to withdraw from the contest because of the dispute over the Status of Jerusalem
  2. ^ If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year.
  3. ^ According to the then-Eurovision rules, the top ten non-Big Four countries from the previous year along with the Big Four automatically qualified for the Grand Final without having to compete in semi-finals. For example, if Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's Grand Final along with all countries ranked in the top ten.

Voting history[edit]

As of 2012, Turkey's voting history is as follows:

Hosting[edit]

Year Location Venue Presenters
2004 Istanbul Abdi İpekçi Arena Korhan Abay and Meltem Cumbul

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Press Award

Year Song Performer Final Result Points Host city
2003 "Everyway That I Can" Sertab Erener 1st 167 Riga

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Prior to 2012 every contest Turkey had taken part in had always been commentated on by Turkish television presenter Bülend Özveren, with the exception of 1982–1985, 1990–1991, 1998–2001 and 2007. In addition Özveren also co-commentated the contest in 1979, 2004, 2011 and 2012. Out of the 38 years Turkey have broadcast the event Özveren has commentated on 29 of them making him 9 years short of being the Contest's longest commentator.

Year(s) Commentator Spokesperson
1973 Bülend Özveren Turkey did not participate
1974
1975 Bülent Osma
1976 Turkey did not participate
1977
1978 Meral Savcı
1979 Turkey did not participate
1980 Başak Doğru
1981
1982 Ümit Tunçağ
1983 Başak Doğru Fatih Orbay
1984
1985
1986 Gülgün Feyman Ümit Tunçağ
1987 Canan Kumbasar
1988 Bülend Özveren
1989
1990 Başak Doğru Korhan Abay
1991 Canan Kumbasar
1992 Bülend Özveren Korhan Abay
1993 Ömer Önder
1994 Turkey did not participate
1995 Ömer Önder
1996
1997
1998 Ömer Önder Osman Erkan
1999 Gülşah Banda
2000 Ömer Önder
2001 Meltem Ersan Yazgan
2002 Bülend Özveren
2003
2004 Didem Tolunay and Bülend Özveren
2005 Bülend Özveren
2006
2007 Hakan Urgancı
2008 Bülend Özveren
2009
2010
2011 Bülend Özveren and Erhan Konuk Ömer Önder
2012
20132019 No broadcast Turkey did not participate

Conductors[edit]

Prior to 1999, the Turkish entry was performed without orchestral accompaniment in 1993.[14]

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Table key
  Winner
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points Place (2003) Points (2003)
2003 Sertab Erener English "Everyway That I Can" Failed to qualify 9 104 1 167

Photogallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jiandani, Sanjay (14 December 2012). "Turkey will not go to Eurovision in Malmö". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  2. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (7 November 2013). "Turkey: TRT will not participate in Eurovision 2014". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  3. ^ "TRT, Eurovision'u yayınlamaktan vazgeçti!".
  4. ^ "EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 1975" (in Greek). OGAE Greece. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  5. ^ Raycoff, Ivan; Robert Deayom Tobin (July 2007). A Song for Europe. Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-5878-8.
  6. ^ "Türkiye Eurovision'da yok" (in Turkish).
  7. ^ "TRT won't accept the Big 5 and high participation fees".
  8. ^ "Why Have Turkey Withdrawn From Eurovision?".
  9. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (5 September 2014). "Turkey: TRT confirms no return to Eurovision in 2015". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  10. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (3 November 2015). "Turkey: TRT confirms non participation in Eurovision 2016". esctoday.com. ESCToday. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  11. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (7 August 2017). "Turkey: TRT confirms non participation in Eurovision 2018". Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  12. ^ "TRT Genel Müdürü'nden Eurovision açıklaması". ABC Gazetesi. 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Turkey to return Eurovision 'if no more bearded divas'". Hurriyet. 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  14. ^ http://andtheconductoris.eu/

External links[edit]