Turkey are boycotting Eurovision because of LGBTQ performers

Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst won Eurovision in 2014 (Picture: AP)

Turkey are unlikely to take part in Eurovision 2019 because of LGBTQ performers.

The inclusion of LGBTQ performers such as 2014’s Austrian drag queen winner Conchita Wurst has prompted the country not to take part next year.

Ibrahim Eren, head of Turkish Radio and Television (TRT), said: ‘As a public broadcaster we cannot broadcast live at 9pm, when children are watching, an Austrian with a beard and a skirt, who claims not to have a gender and says “I am a man and a woman at the same time.”‘

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, he went one further and suggested they would not compete again ‘until this confusion in mentality is corrected’.

Turkey has not competed in the song contest since 2012.

A spokesman for Eurovision organising body the Eurovision Broadcasting Union said that Turkey are welcome back to the contest when they decide to take part again.

They said: ‘The Eurovision Song Contest’s values are of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.

‘TRT has made a huge contribution to the contest in the past, including hosting the event in Istanbul in 2004, and we would very much welcome them back should they decide to participate again.’

This year’s competition featured Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s entry for Ireland, Together, a soft ballad that talks about broken love and how it can get back together.

The song was accompanied by two male dancers, illustrating the message of inclusivity, that love can be between anyone.

However the same-sex dance was censored by Chinese broadcaster Mango TV, prompting the EBU to ban China from broadcasting the second semi-final and the grand-final.

Eurovision 2018 was won by Netta from Israel and her entry Toy.

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