A controversial decision was made yesterday when the Organizing Committee (TAISCOC) decided to disqualify Turkey from the upcoming 2018 Annual, to be held in Brazil at the end of the month. This decision ended the two day long saga that managed to divide the TISC Community like it was rarely seen before.
Turkey’s delegation for the upcoming Jubilee was lead by Memo (with some sources claiming his name to be Memin), who registered for the contest and entered a song on the very last day of the registration period. His registration was accepted and Turkey was seemingly very much on the way to their 7th ever TISC participation. Turkey was scheduled to be represented by a song in their national language named Yoksun (performed by Dodan).
However, Turkish participation started becoming more and more uncertain as the time went by. Voting deadline was rapidly approaching, and yet there was no apparent feedback whatsoever from the Turkish jury. Several hours after the voting deadline passed the hosts announced Turkey’s disqualification, in accordance with the rule 3. (d) which stipulates that “National juries who fail to submit their votes within the required time frame will be disqualified from the contest.”. This rule however was not applied for both Tunisia and Moldova, who either asked for a voting period extension or have sent ineligible votes that are still subject to correction. The Organizing Committee explained that Tunisian and Moldovan entries were accepted nevertheless because their juries have shown the intention of voting. A possible source of the controversy however lies in the fact that TISC Official Rulebook seemingly does not allow any exceptions to rules 3. (d) and 3. (e), even if the concerned national juries have shown the full intention of voting.
Live draw to determine voting order and team allocations for the Jubilee was unusually scheduled only some 12 hours after the voting deadline. Unusual since it is believed that each of the previous editions had at least couple of days between the voting deadline and the voting order draw. Somewhat unexpectedly, Memo made an appearance on Totallympics two hours before the draw and contacted the host of the previous TISC edition (2017 Open) amen09, likely expecting that host/user who receives the votes is always the same. Amen09 however was not online at the time, causing the news about contact with Memo to be exposed only couple of hours after the draw ended. Amen09 had explained to Memo that the host of the contest was in fact Vinipereira.
Fast forward to the next day, which featured the most unusual way of sending votes in TISC history. Apparently, Turkish jury member Memo was visiting Totallympics as a Guest when he finally sent in Turkish votes through the Report channels, usually used to inform Totallympics moderators about inappropriate content being posted. Memo reported one of Vinipereira’s posts and in the report message he presented the votes of the Turkish jury.
Meanwhile, a discussion between users whether to allow Turkish participation or not was very much on. Supporters of Turkish participation included Heywoodu (Netherlands), rybak (Poland), konig (Argentina), DaniSRB (Serbia), dcro (Croatia) and Pablita (Italy). Consensus of the supporting team was such that the TISC contests are there mainly for fun and that therefore strict applications of the rules are unnecessary. However, the general consensus was also that the decision should be left to the hosts. The opposing team, lead by a non-participating user Sindo and accompanied by Agger (Denmark), Wanderer (New Zealand), mrv86 (Mexico) and Werloc (Lithuania) spoke against Turkey’s participation stating among other things that the Turkish jury member does not even care a little little little little bit about the contest. Intriguingly enough, almost all arguments of the opposing side were given by a non-participating party.
The discussion about Turkey’s participation destiny was put on hold when Memo himself issued a public apology for being late to vote. His statement read: “Hi everybody! I am Memo from Turkey. I apologize for participating to votation. I know it maybe difficult to accept a reason after all weeks. But really i haven’t keep in touch and watch the site because of my personal occupation. I really don’t want you to understand my behaviour like ignoring you and the contest. I apologize again and wish that it wont be again in future.”
As expected, the final decision about Turkey’s participation came down to the hosting side who decided that the disqualification should stand. Reasons for this decision include the fact that several post-voting operations have already been initiated, including the live draw and creation of the voting templates. Also, it was stated that Turkey’s participation would have changed the final scoreboard, what could possibly cause protests from participating users.
Vinipereira has however reportedly invited Memo to take part in the upcoming Festival of Music, and at the future TISC editions.