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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Turkish press celebrates win
Turkey's Sertab Erener
The first step to EU entry?
Turkey's first ever success in the Eurovision song contest - after 28 years of trying - has been greeted with jubilant headlines in the country's press.

Several papers hint at possible political implications of the victory by Turkey's best-selling female performer, Sertab Erener.

"Sertab's success," proclaims Istanbul's Sabah. The leading daily Milliyet is equally proud, with an article headlined "She conquered Europe". "We have reached the happy end in our Eurovision adventure," it rejoices.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan applauded Ms Erener's victory, Milliyet reports. "We are happy. I congratulate the participants and I hope they will achieve more success," the premier told journalists.

The mass-circulation daily Hurriyet reports that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer had also sent a message to Ms Erener in Riga to congratulate her.

The Greek Cypriot side voted for Turkey for the first time

EU hopes

MP Kursat Tuzmen said that he felt that Eurovision success could aid Turkey's entry to the European Union. "This is a milestone in creating an atmosphere for entry in the EU like we deserve," he told Anatolia news agency.

Two papers - the left-leaning Cumhuriyet and the centre-right daily Aksam - highlight the fact that points awarded by the Greek Cypriot side in Cyprus helped Turkey to victory. "The Greek Cypriot side voted for Turkey for the first time," says Aksam.

An end to the decades-long stand-off between Ankara and the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government is seen as one of the conditions for Turkey's accession to the EU.

Language issue

Aksam suggests that Turkey's success could be attributed to the fact that for the first time the country's entry was sung in English.

But Sabah stresses that there was a Turkish flag on stage when Ms Erener appeared to sing her song again after she was announced the winner.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

Turkish delight at Eurovision win
24 May 03  |  Entertainment

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