Turkey participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1975, represented by Semiha Yankı performing Seninle Bir Dakika, but did not achieve any considerable success until the late 1990s. They withdrew from the 1979 contest in Jerusalem, a major disappointment for the selected performers Maria Rita Epik & 21 Peron, who would have performed the song "Seviyorum".
In the first two decades of their participation, Turkey had only cracked the top ten once. Things started to change, however, in 1997, when Şebnem Paker placed third with Dinle. And with the 100% televoting rule in place, along with the free-language rule, Turkey started to hit their stride, climaxing with Sertab Erener's victory in Eurovision Song Contest 2003 with Everyway That I Can.
Since the creation of the semi-finals in 2004, Turkey managed to qualify to the finals all but once, in 2011. They also had a number of top ten placings with Athena, Kenan Doğulu, Mor ve Ötesi, Hadise, and MaNga, the latter two becoming fan favorites.
Turkey has not participated since the 2012 contest, citing the unfairness of the 50:50 voting rule and the Big Five. Despite an intent to participate, it was announced that it would not return for 2016 nor for 2017. And despite encouragement from Turkish Eurovision alumni, they didn't participate in 2018 either, and despite fan demand, don't plan to in the near future.
Nevertheless, Eurovision remains popular within Turkey, with highly active fan clubs and enthusiastic viewers every year.