Until Turkey won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, the country had only finished in the top ten on three previous occasions. When Sebnem Paker finished third in 1997 with Dinle she had defied the betting odds as according to the late UK commentator, Terry Wogan, Turkey was 100/1 with the bookmakers. Turkey was somewhat of a slow-burner when it came to success at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The 2004 Eurovision Song Contest held in Istanbul was a breakthrough competition featuring the first ever Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final. The official Eurovision heart logo was also introduced where the flag of the host country came to be the centrepiece of the logo and an official DVD was produced for the first time. You can watch the highlights from this Eurovision milestone in the video below:
The noughties were a time of great success for Turkey and saw the country regularly placing well inside the top ten, often in the top five. Only once did Turkey fail to qualify to the Grand Final.
2012 was the last time that Turkey participated in the Eurovision Song Contest. Broadcaster TRT continues to be a member of the European Broadcasting Union and has the right to return to the contest in the future. Perhaps they will return one day and give us some more Turkish delight?