The Scoop

Turkey told: “Under the current conditions, forget about Eurovision”!

Recently, there were rumours that Turkey would return to Eurovision 2018. Sertab Erener started these rumours during an Instagram live stream. However, TRT later revealed that Turkey would not be returning to the contest, and now a journalist, Ali Eyüboglu, has told us about what is going on with Turkey and Eurovision.
Ali had attended a meeting at the TRT headquarters with members of press and the Turkish Vice Prime Minister, Bekir Bozdag. Although there are few details about the meeting, Ali has given us a look into TRT’s thought process through his Instagram.

I have no idea what that says, please translate!

Don’t speak Turkish? Nor do we. Thank you to one of our Turkish fans, thebrocode, for translating the tweet for us!

“Will Turkey return to Eurovision? Recently there’s been a misperception that Turkey will definitely return to Eurovision and that it’s just the artist that hasn’t been chosen yet. In fact, there have been polls for this purpose, some won by Aynur Aydin, some said Aleyna Tilki, others said Atiye. This is what the polls say, but what is the truth? This matter was also discussed within the TRT administration, and here’s the decision for now: “There have been no improvements on the issues of Eurovision Song Contest that TRT opposes and considers unjust. On the contrary, the impact of the televoting, which is known to play a huge role on Turkey’s success until this day, has been lowered to 50% and it’s been decided that the other 50% be determined by a national jury. Furthermore, the participation fees before and after the contest are quite expensive, which means the expenses for the contest are much higher than the incomes. What’s more, the Big-5 rule is also seen as an injustice.” This is what I understand from the situation: Don’t waste your breath by saying “He should go to Eurovision, she should do it.” for nothing. Under these conditions, FORGET ABOUT EUROVISION.”

Analysis of the tweet

“Eurovision hasn’t changed like we want it to”

TRT point out that there have been no “improvements” in the details of the contest that they are unhappy with. If you look at Turkey’s Eurovision record, it’s easy to see what they’re referring to:

  • 2012 – Televoting: 176 points, Juries: 50 points
  • 2011 – Televoting: 54 points, Juries: 58 points
  • 2010 – Televoting: 119 points, Juries: 93 points
  • 2009 – Televoting: 203 points, Juries: 114 points

Excluding 2011, Turkey has always done much worse with the juries than with the televoters. They want the juries scrapped!

“Eurovision is too expensive for us”

Several countries have had to withdraw in recent year because of participation costs. However, TRT see this as a big issue; the EBU decides how much a broadcaster should pay by looking at the number of potential viewers. You can see the top 5 most populated countries in Europe below:

  1. Russia – 144,031,000
  2. Germany – 82,900,000
  3. Turkey – 79,817,849
  4. France – 66,991,000
  5. United Kingdom – 65,110,276

As you can see, Turkey is the third most populated country in Europe, so it’s participation fee is probably pretty big! TRT see this as unfair.

“The Big 5’s automatic qualification isn’t fair”

Despite being the third most populated country in Europe, Turkey are not part of the Big 5, who receive automatic qualification to the Eurovision final, even though they’re more populated than 4 out of 5 of the countries. Again, TRT consider this unfair.
However, it’s worth pointing out that Russia, the most populated country in Europe, also isn’t in the Big 5. They do badly with the juries too, but they still take part.
Furthermore, the Big 5 receive automatic qualification to the final as they are the biggest financial contributors to the EBU, not because they’re the most populated countries. Without the contributions of these countries, the Eurovision Song Contest would not be possible. It seems that TRT need to accept: either pay more and receive automatic qualification, or pay less and don’t…or don’t take part at all!

What do you think? Would you like to see Turkey return to Eurovision? Do you think that TRT are being fair? Let us know in the comments section below!

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