The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) has released a written announcement stating, "As a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) TRT's decision to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, is up to every broadcasting establishment's own initiative. Therefore, our establishment has made the decision to not participate in the 58th Eurovision Song Contest to be hosted by Sweden in 2013."
The statement cites the reasoning behind the decision as being the changes and resulting injustices in the contest's voting system.
Up until 2010, viewers determined the contest winners; however with the change in regulations made in 2011, viewers' influence was cut in half. The jury vote now accounts for 50 percent of the outcome in determining the contest winner.
An additional element to the change in the voting system is the inclusion of the 'Big Five' rule, which allows the EBU's largest economic contributors, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy to automatically qualify for the finals. Speculation is that the unsuccessful results of these countries may have prompted the change.
The statement released by TRT states the following:
Our institution, which is a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1975 and has competed a total 34 times since.
However, for a variety of reasons, the decision was made to not participate in 1976-77, 1979 and 1994.
Interest was first peaked in 1997 when Şebnem Paker's song "Dinle" came in third place and since then the Turkish public has always held high expectations for Turkey.
When in 2003 in Riga, Latvia Sertab Erener's "Every way That I Can" came in first, the full attention of the Turkish public was drawn to the contest.
Over the past ten years, TRT has marked historical success with coming in 1st (2003), 4th (2004, 2007, 2009), 7th (2008, 2012) and 2nd (2010) place.
It is speculated that the success of the performers representing Turkey in the 2000's was greatly affected by the switch to the televoting system.
During the years, 2003-2010 when it was audience votes, our performers experienced much higher success.
As of 2011, audience votes now count for 50 percent, while the other 50 percent are based on votes from the jury.
It is also speculated that the reason for this change in the voting system is also based on the unsuccessful performances exhibited by the EBU's five privileged members (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy).
Hence, these five nations (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy) now automatically qualify for the finals.
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