It is the same old question every year. Will they or wont they? Turkey who have graced many of Eurovision's stages since 1975, culminating with a win in 2003 are a very popular country at the contest, and have consistently performed reasonably well. However since 2012 they have been absent at every Eurovision stage since. Just like Bosnia and Hertzegovina who tempt fans with the promise of returning, Turkey never do. However, could they return in 2018?
Although, the national broadcaster gave a definitive "NO" in 2017, it has been recently revealed that the country was very close to participating in 2016. The composer of Turkey's 2009 entry "Dum Tek Tek" has stated in an interview with Alem FM that the 2016 singer had already been chosen by host broadcaster TRT. He stated, that he was going to be the composer, and the artist was to be Atiye. However, we all know that Turkey did not participate in 2016, this was due to a last minute change of mind by TRT.
These comments were also echoed by the former Eurovision commentator Bülent özveren, who had also confirmed these reports and was under the same opinion. What is interesting however, is that he believes that Turkey must return in 2018. He added, "The TRT team has changed, and the return must happen". Could 2018 be the year that Turkey finally come back? The EBU will certainly want this if not to increase the dwindling viewing figures from this years competition. Also, with a change of team and prominent figures willing to show their support for a future participation, it may be quite likely.
Atiye has released several albums, and singles in Turkey. She has had quite a lot of success here, with her singles "Muamma" and "Salla" being massively popular. In 2011 she won the award for best Turkish act at the MTV Europe music awards.
Turkey's refusal to take part in Eurovision stems from the jury voting which was introduced in 2012. They have also taken the moral ground, and argued that the Finnish entry of 2013 was blasphemous for televising a Lesbian kiss. Eurovision 2018 season has yet to get into full swing, but could Turkey participating in 2018 change the dynamics of the contest? Stay tuned to find out.
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