Turkey has had a long history at Eurovision, debuting in 1975. They started off slowly, with three last places in just over 10 years, 2 of which were nul pointers. Turkey really began to lift their game in 2003, when Turkey won with Sertab Erener singing ‘Every Way That I Can.’ After their first win, the nation brought some of their biggest stars, many of which brought top 10, and even top 5 results for the country. Turkey has participated in 7 of the last 10 years, with the nation unfortunately choosing not to participate in 2013, 2014 and 2015. With that said, let’s take it back to 2006 to run through the last 7 entries of Turkey, and then you can decide which is the best of the bunch!
In 2006, Turkey was still running off their success of Sertab, and hoped to continue the success with Sibel Tüzün, who took to the stage with the song ‘Superstar’, sung in both Turkish and English. Superstar she was, with a huge stage presence. She ended up just missing out on the top 10 – reaching 11th place with 91 points.
In the following year, Kenan Doğulu lit up the stage with the catchy tune titled ‘Shake it up, Şekerim.’ The upbeat song caught the attention of the audiences, coming 3rd in the semi-final, and then 4th in the final with a total of 163.
With rock music starting to make an appearance at Eurovision, it was a perfect time for Mor Ve Ötesi to perform their song titled ‘Deli’ – or ‘Crazy’, completely in the Turkish language. The 4 piece band has had a long and successful history in Turkey, and Eurovision was no different. Their performance scored them 7th place in both the semi and final, which is a very respectable placing when we take into consideration the popularity of English as the preferred Eurovision language.
In 2009, Turkey sent one of their biggest stars – Hadise. With an English song with a Turkish flair, Haidise continued the success of Turkey. The song ‘Düm Tek Tek’ was extremely catchy and in combination with an eye catching dance routine, and a beautiful and talented singer, it is easy to see why Haidise ended up on the top 5 – 4th to be exact, with 177 points.
In 2010, Turkey once again decided to send a rock song, this time sung by the group MaNga, and this time, in English. The extravagant performance of ‘We Could Be The Same’ included some strange props, including some heavy duty power tools, but nevertheless this seemed to bring in enough votes to allow them to win their semi-final, and then come 2nd in the final with 170 points.
Things took a turn for the worse in 2011, where once again, Turkey decided to send a rock band, following the formula they had used the previous year. The band, Yüksek Sadakat also sung their song in English, titled, ‘Live it Up’ – and again, had some really strange props – hamster wheel, anyone? This was the year that Georgia out-Turkied Turkey, and qualified as the token rock song, rather than this one, which stayed in the semi at 13th place with 47 points.
And our most recent Turkish song to add to the Best of the Bunch List for Turkey is ‘Love Me Back’ by Can Bonomo. The alternative singer had been internally selected by TRT, and it was announced that his song would be sung in English, despite the fact that Bonomo has never released a song in English, both before and after Eurovision. The creative staging made the performance what it was, of course accompanied by Can Bonomo’s deep (and almost hypnotising voice), and it brought them back the success they had in previous years, ending up in 7th place with 112.
And we have to leave it here! After 2012, Turkey decided to not participate in Eurovision, which is a terrible shame because their songs are always so fabulous! We are happily welcoming them back for 2016!
But now it’s your turn to choose which is your favourite Turkish song from 2006 – 2012. Vote here, and feel free to leave a comment below: