As we kick off the selection show season there have been 40 countries who have formally announced that they will compete in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017 in Kiev. Two countries that will not be included in the show in May are Turkey and Slovakia.
While we await confirmation on Australia’s Eurovision status for 2017, it was confirmed earlier this week that both Turkey and Slovakia’s broadcaster have failed to come to an agreement to participate in next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
In the case of Slovakia, a representative from their national broadcaster RTVE today stated that Slovakia would not return to Eurovision in 2017 due to a lack of finances. The country appeared seven times at Eurovision. The first of these was in 1994 and after an eleven year gap the nation returned in 2009 to 2012, failing to qualify for the final on each occasion.
There has been attempts to have Turkey return to Eurovision for the past few years since they withdrew from the Contest in 2012 citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the competition as their reason. In addition to this, the country’s broadcaster TRT sparked further controversy when they remarked that they would never return to Eurovision following the win in 2014 by drag performer Conchita Wurst. There had been rumblings that Turkey would return in 2017 when Turkish Eurovision fans and an Turkish NGO attempted to work together to secure Turkey’s future at Eurovision. This fell on deaf ears as the request was denied by Turkish broadcaster TRT.
Since its withdrawal, Turkey has begun its own song contest for Turkic speaking nations with singers of Turkic ethnicity called Turkvision. The first three winners of this contest were Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Returning to the competition this year after a year out due to financial constraints will be Romania and Portugal, while Bosnia and Herzegovina have had to withdraw in 2017 for the same reason.