When I was child and fell in love with this weird, wild and wonderful contest I quickly realised it was truly those weird and wild things that made the whole thing wonderful.
So how could I not love the Turkish entries? They didn't sound like anyone else, they didn't look like anyone else. Not even their flag looked like the others - so colourful, so stylish. They hardly ever scored any substantial amount of points, but that was less important.
Their whole joie de vivre attacked me and walked hand in hand with me through Euroland. How I loved the Turkish entries.
Seyyal Taner & Grup Lokomotif - Sarkim sevgi üstüne (Turkey 1987)
Ten years ago, Turkey took a radical turn and re-invented themselves in the ESC. Superstar Sertab Erener seduced the entire continent and the eternal loser blossomed into a success story. Cinderella got her prince and would never turn back again.
Sertab Erener - Everyway That I Can (Turkey 2003)
Since then most Turkish entries ended in the top ten, four of which even made the top four. Most impressive. Then suddenly - without a word of warning - Turkish tv decided to pull out of the competition, giving some really dodgy and sketchy excuses about the rules being unfair and them not wanting to be a part of this.
At first, I thought there was a hurt ego somewhere in the middle of this story. Turkey is a fast-growing economy that seeks financial and political influence in its region, and I thought maybe they would want to be treated like royalty also at the ESC. Why would they want to find themselves below the likes of France, Germany or Spain in this contest?
But then I spoke to some Turkish friends - good, intelligent and perceptive people - who suggested more sinister reasons for their country's absence.
Despite being a secular country, the current Turkish government has a mildly Islamist agenda. Knowing this, you can note that the country has not sent any female representative since 2009 despite that particular female gaining a good result.
My friends suspect that phasing out women was the first step, phasing out western cultural from the state television would be the next. I'm not saying this is the one and only truth, but this what my friends suggested and it got me thinking. If this is the case, we would probably have to wait quite a long time until we see another Turkish entry in this competition.
So in order to how my say in this matter, I decided to phase in a number of feisty and fabulous females made in Turkey. They rock. May they be back soon.
Ajda Pekkan - Petr'oil (Turkey 1980)
Klips ve Onlar - Halley (Turkey 1986)
Pan - Bana Bana (Turkey 1989)
Şebnem Paker - Dinle (Turkey 1997)
Pinar Ayhan & S.O.S - Yorgunum anla (Turkey 2000)
Sibel Tüzün - Süperstar (Turkey 2006)
PS! Just to be crystal clear - if anyone is in doubt - this is not a text against neither Turkey nor TRT. I hope for them to be back. And if anyone can add anything to this discussion - please leave a comment. DS.