While speaking at the Ibn Khaldun University earlier today, TRT’s general director broke his silence on the broadcasters reasons for the country’s prolonged absence in the competition.
Ibrahim Eren, who was last year appointed as the general for the broadcaster, was speaking in a discussion based on TRT’s programming. The talking point moved to the contest when a student asked whether the broadcaster would ever consider participating again.
TRT name Conchita as a key reason for absence
Speaking openly, Eren confirmed that at the current moment in time, TRT would not consider re-joining the contest. In his explanation, he uses 2014 Austrian winner, Conchita Wurst as a key reason, alongside the country’s ongoing revolt against the current voting system.
“We don’t consider rejoining the contest. We have reasons like the voting system. As a public broadcaster, we also cannot broadcast live at 9 p.m. –when children are still awake– someone like the bearded Austrian who wore a skirt, do not believe in genders and says that he is both a man and a woman”
A return is ‘not ruled out’
The general then confirmed that discussions with the EBU regarding the contest had taken place, in which he highlighted the issue of other countries withdrawing from the event in recent years.
“I have told the European Broadcasting Union on the Eurovision issue that they deviated from their values. As a result of this, we have seen other countries follow suit and also boycott the contest. There is a mental chaos at the EBU because of its executives. If they can fix it, we can definitely join Eurovision again,”
Watch the TRT general explain the reasonings behind Turkey’s absence in the video below (in Turkish)
Turkey’s history at the Eurovision Song Contest
During their 34 appearances at the contest, Turkey enjoyed a string of success, especially in the 00s where they secured seven top ten placings. In 2003, they scored their first and only victory with ‘Every Way That I Can‘, the ethno-pop track performed by Sertab Erener.