Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday complained to Turkey over a new television drama airing there that depicts Israel Defense Forces soldiers as brutal murderers.
Lieberman instructed staff at the Foreign Ministry to protest in the face of their Turkish counterparts. He stressed that airing this type of show reflects a grave level of incitement against Israel - and with government approval.
The show, called Ayrilik, features a love story that develops between the lead characters during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli media reports.
However, a partial episode available on YouTube depicts multiple images of the IDF brutalizing the Palestinian population by shooting children in the chest and kicking elderly people on the ground, among other things.
Lieberman said that "broadcasting this series is incitement of the most severe kind, and it is done under government sponsorship," according to the Foreign Ministry statement.
"Such a drama series, which doesn't even have the slightest link to reality and which presents Israeli soldiers as murderers of innocent children, isn't worthy of being broadcast even by enemy states and certainly not in a state which has full diplomatic relations with Israel," he said.
In the clip, Israeli soldiers can be seen shooting a smiling young girl in the chest, steamrolling a tank through a crowded street and lining up a firing squad to shoot at Palestinians.
The show airs on Turkish State-sponsored television channel TRT1, according to Israeli media outlets.
They also reported that the drama's Web site says it "brings to life the bleeding wound of Palestine. The show depicts all sides of the generations-long tragedy... This season focuses on the women and children and the Palestinian story, as well as the notion that the ultimate solution is love, compassion and world peace."
There is currently no Turkish envoy in Israel, as the previous envoy completed his term last week. However, the Israeli envoy in Ankara dispatched an urgent message to officials there outlining Israel's concern over the show.
The latest incident comes amid a crisis in previously friendly Israel-Turkey relations.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said that "diplomatic sensitivities" led his government to ban Israel from a joint NATO air force drill, French news agency AFP reported.
"There is military cooperation between Turkey and Israel...but currently there are diplomatic sensitivities that we have to take into consideration," AFP quoted Edrogan as telling the Dubai-based channel Al-Arabiya.
"We have taken the conscience of our people into consideration when we decided.... I had to be the voice that expresses the existence of my people and my people were rejecting Israel's participation."
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