Turkish singer Serhat, who represented San Marino in 2016 and 2019, has claimed in an interview with Hürriyet that he would have won Eurovision 2019 with “Say Na Na Na” if he had represented Türkiye. Representing San Marino, Serhat finished in 19th place with 77 points.
He claimed that, due to San Marino’s small size, it was difficult to score points from countries with a Turkish diaspora. He also claimed that it was difficult for a small country to make the final, which may have led to his non-qualification in Stockholm in 2016 with “I Didn’t Know”.
Serhat taking Türkiye to the top of the leaderboard?
Speaking to Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, Serhat said that he believed he would have scored more points if he had represented Türkiye or another larger country, instead of San Marino. Serhat’s 19th place finish for San Marino remains the country’s best result.
In 2019, I represented San Marino again, this time with the song “Say Na Na Na”… If I had represented Türkiye or another country with a strong voting system like Sweden, I would have come first. But I could not get points from countries where Turks are concentrated.– Serhat, speaking to Hürriyet
Even though Türkiye has not been in the contest since 2012, Serhat added that he would love to represent his own country and feels the support for his entry would be different. He previously expressed his support for a Turkish return to the contest during interviews in Tel Aviv, where he told us that “Türkiye needs Eurovision and Eurovision needs Türkiye”.
People didn’t know that a Turk represented San Marino, and there was less interest in the contest without their own country. But if I had represented Turkey, that support would have been different. Of course, I would love to participate on behalf of Türkiye. I already carried the flag everywhere, rather than San Marino.– Serhat, speaking to Hürriyet
Serhat at the Eurovision Song Contest
Hailing from Turkey, singer, songwriter and TV presenter Serhat first represented San Marino at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016. Performing “I Didn’t Know” in Stockholm, he failed to qualify for the final. He finished in 12th place in the semi-final with 68 points.
He returned to the contest in 2019, again representing San Marino. This time, Serhat qualified for the final with his song “Say Na Na Na” which he co-penned with Mary Susan Applegate. Finishing in 8th place in the semi-final, he progressed to the final where he scored 77 points and finished in 19th.
Speaking to ESCXTRA at the contest in Tel Aviv, Serhat said that he wouldn’t return to Eurovision again as a singer – though, he may return as a songwriter or producer.
In this article, we have referred to the country formerly known as Turkey as Türkiye in line with their official name change. Their name change was officially confirmed by the United Nations on 2nd June. The EBU now also refer to the country as Türkiye.
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