Editorials & Opinion

Will Turkey enter Eurovision through the Sammarinese back door?

Yesterday, SMRTV sent out a short press release stating they would reveal their artist for Stockholm on Tuesday, 12th January. Soon speculation started, with the usual names joining the rumour mill: Valentina Monetta and last year’s singers, Michele and Anita.
Neither of those three however seem to be the chosen ones for 2016. To be fair, no one really has a clear clue what San Marino could be planning to send to Sweden. That meant it was time for a little brainstorming session here at escXtra.com.
Let’s look back on what San Marino did for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. After all, both their 2013 and 2014 Junior Eurovision entrants ended up at the adult Eurovision Song Contest. As one of the few countries, San Marino seem to experiment and try out new things in the Junior version before bringing it to the big stage in May.
In Sofia this year, San Marino were represented by an 11 year old Russian singer, Kamila Ismailova. They immediately collected Ukraine’s 12 points and scored a rather decent result. Sending someone from a country with heavy diaspora votes may actually work for a country without any natural diaspora, as we could see on Kamila’s example.
San Marino however did have to share the Russian diaspora with Russia itself. It would not be surprising to us if SMRTV would try to collect all diaspora votes from a nation that is no longer in Eurovision. There were rumours in the past years, with Luxembourgish singer Thierry Mersch hoping to fly the Sammarinese flag. Picking someone from a small state, like Luxembourg (or Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco) won’t have much of an effect on the votes. So you’ll need someone bigger than that, a nation with big diaspora…
That’s where yesterday’s rumour mill comes back. Not the same rumour mill though: Media in Turkey and the Eurovision world were reporting that Turkey would somehow be present at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Seeing the deadline for participation has passed and you can’t really say Turkey for the 61st edition would deserve such special treatment, there may be other ways to interpret the rumour. It seems clear that TRT aren’t in the mood for Eurovision unless there’s a change in the Big Five, so seeing an entry actually representing Turkey seems highly unlikely. You could however add the bits of information and thought about San Marino and Turkey together: Could San Marino be the one responsible for a ‘Turkish’ entry? Is San Marino sending a Turkish entrant to Stockholm?
If we think outside of the box here, what kind of Turkish artist would be most willing to represent another nation other than their own? Let’s be realistic – we won’t be seeing Tarkan, Atiye or a return from Hadise that’s for sure. These leading names in the Turkish music scene won’t fly a Sammarinese flag. What is more probable is someone who has released music in the past, looking to reach an international audience, fully up to speed on the contest and given San Marino’s past qualification record wouldn’t find it damaging if things didn’t work out. Going out on a limb here (and we could be totally wrong!) names coming to mind are Kenan Williams, Can Altuğlu & Funda Kilic
What do you think? Could San Marino indeed be looking at a Turkish singer for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest or are these bits and pieces of information without any sort of relation to each other? Let us know!

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