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Turkish state-run broadcaster to never air ‘Eurovision’ if the likes of Conchita Wurst can win

Turkey hasn't taken part in the song contest since 2012 after it complained about new voting system

By Steve Brown

A Turkish broadcaster has said it won’t take part in the Eurovision Song Contest while “someone like the bearded Austrian who wore a skirt” could win.

Turkey hasn’t taken part in the contest since 2012 after it criticised the newly introduced voting system, which they claim was unfair and during a discussion at the Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul, the manager of a state-run broadcaster slammed the 2014 winner Conchita Wurst.

Ibrahim Eren, who runs Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), said: “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 9pm – 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.”

Despite homosexuality being legal in Turkey, it is not widely accepted and Istanbul Pride marches have been repeatedly banned over the years.

This year, Turkish riot police used tear gas and rubber bullets against LGBT+ activists who got together for a banned Pride march.