TURKEY – The head of Turkey’s public broadcaster has cited “someone like the bearded Austrian who wore a skirt” as one of the main reasons of Ankara’s ongoing boycott against Eurovision, apparently referring to Conchita, who won the international song contest in 2014.
“We don’t consider to rejoin 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,” the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation’s (TRT) general manager İbrahim Eren said during panel at a İbn Haldun University in Istanbul on August 4th.
Turkey has not participated in Eurovision since 2012 in protest at changes in the contest’s voting system that introduced a 50/50 jury and televoting deliberation, as well as the “Big Five” rule that allows Spain, Italy, the U.K., France and Germany to automatically qualify every year for the final.
It was speculated last year that Turkey could soon return to the European competition.
While refuting this speculation on Aug. 4, Eren also cited another reason for Turkey’s decision to boycott the event.
“I have told the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on the Eurovision issue that they deviated from their values. As a result, other countries also left Eurovision. There is a mental chaos at the EBU because of its executives. If they can fix it, we can join Eurovision again,” Eren added.
The “bearded diva” Conchita, formerly known as Conchita Wurst, won the Eurovision song contest in 2014 for her song Rise Like a Phoenix.
29-year-old Austrian is a recording artist and drag performer portrayed by Thomas Neuwirth.