Turkish Eurovision commentator Bülent Özveren appeared as a guest in the Turkish show “BireBir” by 1ANTV.
During the show Eurovision was a huge topic. Turkeys whole Eurovision journey was being explained by Bülent Özveren. He told Turkish viewers how TRT chose its artists, how the journey went and exclusive backstage information. During the show the host asked Bülent Özveren if Turkey will compete at Eurovision and why Turkey doesn’t participate anymore.
Bülent Özveren stated that: “Competing countries at Eurovision have to pay a participation cost to compete. These costs aren’t always the same, it depends on the economic situation of the country and to the population of the respective country. In 2004 a semifinal was introduced for the first time in Istanbul. Before the competition started the so called Big 5 countries told the EBU:”We are the Big 5. We don’t want to compete in a pre-qualification round, we directly want to be in the final.” These countries gave much money to the EBU in the past, they are big financing. They said that they want to profit from that. The general director of TRT objected against this. He thinks that this is wrong. But he made a mistake, rather than objecting against this rule with multiple members, he did it alone. The EBU said that these are the rules and won’t be changed. Also a new rule was introduced that 50% of the votes come now from the national juries and the other 50% from the public. The votes which Turkey gathered from the televote were therefore taken down to 50%, this was also against Turkey. We withdrew. In 2015 TRT got a new general director. He shortly said to me after coming to TRT that Turkey will participate at Eurovision. I said well done, very good. Until October I waited for an official announcement by TRT but nothing came. 100% the government blocked the general director to let Turkey return to the competition. Because there is a “woman motif” and therefore low-cut dresses. Not always low-cut dresses but there was some elegance. Very nice clothes by the way. They (the government) didn’t want it. That’s a wrong decision. Until 2012 we got our best results in the competition, 2nd, 4th.”
Asking Mr. Bülent Özveren if Turkey will return to Eurovision he said:”TRT got a new director general again. Best of luck in the position. I don’t know if he’s able to decide by himself or the government will block it once again. TRT got huge ratings with Eurovision. On the Eurovision nights, the competition was the most watched show on the night with a huge margin from the second place. So you (TRT) say that you are in a rating competition with the private broadcasters, why don’t you broadcast a guarantee first place rating show? Good we don’t participate but why don’t you broadcast it? Am I forced to watch the contest from the Azeri or a different broadcaster? Where shall the Turkish public watch the contest? They cannot watch. Eurovision got forgotten in Turkey. We last participated in 2012, got 7th with Can Bonomo. After that it became forbidden.”
TRT confirmed that Turkey won’t return to Eurovision in 2018 (read more here) and it seems like that we won’t see Turkey for a long time.
What do you think? Shall Turkey come back to Eurovision? Tell us in the comments section below.