ESKİŞEHİR – Doğan News Agency
Nigar Jamal and Farid Mamadov, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 for Azerbaijan, participated in the 'Turkvision' launching ceremony. DHA photo
And twelve points go to… Uzbekistan! Forget the old Eurovision show, here comes “Turkvision,” an Eurasian version concocted by the Turkish public broadcaster TRT with a similar recipe: A bunch of songs, a pinch of suspense in the format of a contest between countries and, voilà, you have a cultural event mixed with family sofa entertainment. All adapted, of course, to Turkey’s own geopolitical region.
The project, branded as an alternative to Eurovision after Turkey snubbed the show displeased with the voting system, has now become a reality after the official signing ceremony in Eskişehir on Sept. 21, with the attendance of Education Minister Nabi Avcı.
A total of 20 countries and autonomic regions populated with Turkic minorities, such as the Republic of Tataristan in Russia
or the Republic of Crimea, which belongs to Ukraine, will be participating in the yearly event.
Having snubbed this year’s Eurovision show and announced that it will most likely skip next year’s contest as well, unless the voting system changes, Turkey will host the first edition in Eskişehir at the end of December.
Avcı, however, stressed that the contest was not, as many suggested, an alternative to the European version organized since 1956, but intended to be within the scope of the Turkic world cultural capital events. The cultural capital flag is carried this year by Eskişehir.
“Turkvision does not need to be compared to Eurovision. It will have its place in the Turkic world with its own brand value. Whether we participate or not in Eurovision, I hope that Turkvision will move forward in its own path, growing and expanding year-by-year,” Avcı said, adding that the initial idea was to create a meeting space for young musicians.
“This project is part of the Turkic world cultural capital event. Hopefully, the next towns selected as the 'cultural capitals' will pursue the event,” he said.
The semi-finals of the contest will be organized between Dec. 19 and 21, while the final, where only 12 of the initial 20 participants will take part, is scheduled for Dec. 23.