Throwback Thursday; Turkish “Deli”ght

In 11 days, on October 29th, The Republic Turkey celebrates its 95th anniversary. On this date in 1923 they declared the republic, and the rest, as they say, is history. And what a history it is! That, of course, also goes for their Eurovision history, and that’s what I’m going to take a closer look at today. 

A brief history of Turkey in Eurovision

Turkey made their debut in the contest in 1975. They have participated 34 times so far, and right now it doesn’t really look like that’s going to change any time soon. Turkey has won the contest once; in 2003, whan Sertab made European hips sway with her wonderful “Everyway That I Can“. The country has also taken home a silver and a bronze, in 2010 and 1997 respectively. However, it’s no secret that Turkey is more used to ending up on the right hand side of the scoreboard.  They have finished last three times; in 1975, 1983 and 1987. In 83 and 87 they even achieved the dreaded nul points! Only once after the introduction of the semi-finals have Turkey failed to qualify for the final. However, in 2013 they decided to withdraw from the contest, and haven’t been seen since. 

Rock! Rock!! ROCK!!!

As I have mentioned before (a gazillion times…or more); I am a rock chick at heart. At Eurovision this might sometimes present a problem, as there a) isn’s much rock at all and b) what rock there is, isn’t very good. In my opinion, that is. But there are a few exceptions, and the two, perhaps even three, best rock entries in the history of Eurovision are Turkish.

Mor ve ötesi

I have often liked the Turkish entries, even though they had never (until 2010) been my number one. They did however come very close in 2008, when they sent the amazing rock band Mor ve ötesi with their even more amazing song “Deli”. Unfortunately for them, this was also the year that France sent Sebastien Tellier and “Divine, which is exactly that. “Deli” is the song that once made my students believe I speak Turkish, as I tend to sing it to myself wandering the hallways at school. 

Mor ve Ötesi completely blew me away in Belgrade, and I have since managed to buy all their CDs. A brilliant excuse, as if I needed one, for heading to Turkey for Easter. 

Mor ve ötesi – maNga 

I also have another reason for loving Mor ve ötesi; When I first heard “Deli”, I went straight to Youtube, wanting to find more of their music. The Youtube gods were in a good mood that day, and recommended I listen to a band called maNga too. At first I thought; “Why would I wanna listen to some Japanese cartoon thingy?”, but I decided to go along with it. And Thank heavens for that! 

Come back, Turkey!

I am one of the people who would welcome Turkey back to Eurovision with arms wide open. As long as they send more rock. So; fingers crossed for 2020 or thereabouts. 

What the other had to say…


‘Deli’ was one of my favourite songs in 2008. Rock is one of my favourite genres, so it’s no surprise that I loved this. I really hope Turkey return to Eurovision soon and send more awesome entries like this one!


Being the pop fanatic that I am, I’ve surprised myself when it comes to Deli. It had me hooked on the first listen and is by far my favorite Turkish entry, even though they have an impressive history in the contest. The performance may not have been theatrical or eye-catching by Eurovision standards, but something about it captivated me. Listening to it now, 10 years later, I’ve noticed that it hasn’t aged much at all, which is always a good thing for Eurovision entries (especially from that era)! If Turkey ever makes a return to the contest, I’d love for them to send an entry similar to this.


Besides all the manboats, drapes and epileptic light shows, Turkey is no strangers to sending solid rock songs into the contest and Deli falls comfortably into that category. The fact it’s been years since I last heard it and yet could immediately hear it ringing in my ears the moment I saw the stage is probably a good indication of how memorable it was, despite lacking any major gimmicks. Even the main singer being a pair of sunglasses away from the villain in The Matrix AND me feeling a strange urge to buy delicatessen each time I finish listening to the song don’t lessen my enjoyment. It’s not the best entry Turkey have ever sent, but it’s a good example of why I miss them and why I wish they would return to the contest.


Let me start off by saying that I really miss Turkey at Eurovision and really hope to see them back ASAP. I also confess this is the first time I listened to this song in full and although it isn’t a song I would normally listen to, it was a pleasant listen to my ears. As the language lover I am, I love it is in Turkish. And also the charisma of the performer. Especially the last 30 seconds or so of the song, those are golden! Those camera angles and moves are a delight. Please Turkey come back and offer us more gems like this!

Next Thursday

What do you think of Turkey in Eurovision? And are you as enthusiastic about “Deli” as our team is? Next week we will throw you back to Austria! However, you’ll have to come back to find out what year we’ll throw you back to! 

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