Turkish state TV depicts 'bloodthirsty' IDF soldiers

By Jessica Elgot, October 15, 2009

Watch the controversial Turkish TV drama

The rift between Turkey and Israel has deepened after a Turkish television show aired on state television depicting IDF soldiers as bloodthirsty murderers.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has demanded an explanation from the Turkish ambassador to Israel, who was summoned to a meeting at the Foreign Ministry.

Scenes in the show, called “Ayrilik” (Farewell) include an Israeli soldier kicking a dead Palestinian child, a Palestinian girl being deliberately mown down by a tank and Palestinians killed by an IDF firing squad. It is shown on the state TV channel TRT1.

Mr Lieberman said: “Broadcasting this series is a serious case of state-sponsored incitement. Such a series, which doesn’t even have a weak connection to reality, and which presents the IDF's soldiers as murderers of innocent children, is unworthy of being broadcast in enemy states, let alone in a country which had full diplomatic relations with Israel."

Turkish Jews have blamed the show for the recent surge of anti-Israeli feeling in the country. Diplomatic relations between the two have been tense since Turkey cancelled Israel’s participation in a NATO air force drill in central Turkey, because of concerns over Israeli actions in Gaza.

Last updated: 4:54pm, October 15 2009