In Turkey, the opposition promised to participate in Eurovision to win the elections – NRK Culture and Entertainment

In Turkey, the opposition promised to participate in Eurovision to win the elections – NRK Culture and Entertainment

It is sad and unworthy of the century in which we live.

Turkish student Begum Bolukbasi (24 years old) thinks so.

The country has not been seen in the competition since 2012.

Unfair system

When the government withdrew in 2013, they made it clear that it had to do with the competition voting system.

The minister in charge of public broadcaster TRT said they did not get the results they wanted, no matter how good a contestant they sent in.

One of the things they responded to was that the “Big Five”: Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain and Italy, were guaranteed a place anyway. It is a rule introduced because these five contribute the most money to the competition.

Not everyone believes in this explanation anymore.

It was Bonomo, Türkiye

Turkey and Can Bonomo with the song “Love Me Back” in 2012. This was the country’s last entry before withdrawing from the competition. It finished seventh with 112 points.

Photo: EBU

Conservatives don’t like that

In the early years we believed what was said, but with the passage of time most people now realize that there are other reasons behind it.

This is what Polukbasi says, who is also a board member of Eurovision Turkey.

She believes that it has to do with the conservative mentality of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which does not match the values ​​of competition.

– Eurovision is an arena in which all gender identities are respected, which does not satisfy the conservative forces in the government.

Eurovision promised if they win

And now Eurovision has become big politics in Türkiye.

Opposition politicians Meral Aksener and Kemal Kilicdaroglu promised to participate in Eurovision in the election campaign against Erdogan.

    Kemal Kilicdaroglu

Kemal Kilicdaroglu is the leader of the largest opposition party. He promises Turkey’s Eurovision participation.

Photo: Burhan Ozbilici/AP

The timing of such a promise couldn’t be better either.

Election day in Turkey is Sunday 14 May, the day after the Eurovision final in Liverpool.

– I think it can affect the little ones

Turkish expert and peace researcher Pinar Tank agrees with student Polukbasi about the real reason they are not engaged now.

She believes it has to do with conservative politics in the country.

– They explained it away by the voting system, but I think it has to do with the fact that the program has become a liberal and smooth competition between the sexes, says Tank, a Turkish-Norwegian.

– And why is this not in line with ardugfor his system?

– She must be a strong male figure to lead Turkey and Eurovision to challenge this ideal. Erdogan sees this as something they fear could affect the younger generation.

Pinar tank file

Pinar, the Norwegian-Turkish tank, is an expert on Turkey and a peace researcher. She believes that popular culture can act as a political tool, especially against young voters.

Photo: Jonas Orbeck-Sarah/NRK

Nor is it just Eurovision that the Turkish government has questioned.

Conservative forces in Turkey believed that the youth should be protected from the K-pop music genre, because It can encourage homosexuality.

In addition, the famous Turkish pop artist Gülsen had to Sitting under house arrest after I joked about religious schools in the country.

It can be a powerful political tool

The peace researcher believes that using popular culture as politics can be effective, especially against young voters.

– Obviously, there are other things that are more important than Eurovision right now, but one should not ignore the fact that popular culture can be a powerful political tool against young people.

However, she does not think that the promise of participation will be decisive, but it can be used as an example. There is no show in Turkey at the moment.

Türkiye is missing

Anders Tangen is a writer for ESC Norway and runs the “Grand Prix podcast”. He says Türkiye is missing out on Eurovision.

Anders Tangen

Anders Tangen runs the “Grand Prix podcast” and has written about Eurovision for several years. He says Türkiye has cult status at Eurovision and hopes they will return.

Photo: private

– Türkiye has a kind of cult status in the context of Eurovision. I think many people have a close connection with the memories of Turkish troupes in white suits and belly dancers who performed in the past, says Tangin.

Watch Türkiye win in 2003 with the song “Everything I Can”:

Eurovision’s Bölükbasi wants to bring Turkey back into the competition. She is proud of Turkish culture and believes that participation will be important for young Turks.

– There are many young people in the country who participate in the competition. We like to showcase our artists and our culture,” Polukbasi says.

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Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

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