JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned Turkey’s acting ambassador over a Turkish television program showing Israeli soldiers shooting Palestinian children.
The TV series, called "Ayrilik," appears on a state-sponsored television channel, according to reports.
The show "constitutes the most serious level of incitement, and it is being done with state sponsorship," said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, according to a Foreign Ministry news release.
Set in Gaza, "Ayrilik" tells of a love story between a Palestinian girl and a soldier. It includes a scene in which an Israeli soldier shoots a young Palestinian girl at point-blank range. The soldiers also are seen kicking elderly Palestinians to the ground and lining up Palestinians for a firing squad.
"Such a series, which bears no connection whatsoever to reality, presenting IDF soldiers as murderers of innocent children, should not be broadcast even in hostile states — and certainly not in a state that maintains full diplomatic relations with Israel," Lieberman said.
The controversy has arisen during a time of increasing tension between Israel and Turkey over a canceled NATO military exercise and the delay in a delivery of military equipment from Israel to Turkey.
Turkish television producer Saljuik Trubanulad told Israel Radio Thursday that the soldiers in his series are not Israeli soldiers, despite the similarity in the uniforms.