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Israel blasts Turkey over TV series' 'incitement'

Israel blasts Turkey over TV series' 'incitement'

An Israeli Foreign Ministry official rebuked Turkey's acting ambassador Thursday over a TV series Israel says depicts Israeli soldiers murdering children.
Naor Gilon, deputy director for the Western Europe desk, said he told Turkish envoy Ceylan Ozen the series was "incitement" and could spark attacks against Jews visiting Turkey.
Gilon met Ozen at ministry headquarters in Jerusalem amid increasing tensions between the countries.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later joined the chorus of Israeli outrage.
"We are disappointed by the incitement on Turkish television and we are not very happy by the trends we are seeing in Turkey of late," he said at a joint press conference with visiting Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Muslim Turkey's ties with Israel have deteriorated since Israel's winter offensive against Islamic militants in Gaza _ codenamed Operation Cast Lead _ which killed some 1,400 Palestinians.
Last week Ankara canceled a military exercise in which Israeli pilots were to have participated.
Clips of the program, screened by Turkey's state-owned TRT television, show a military force in what appear to be Israeli combat fatigues committing acts of murder and violent repression against Palestinians under their control.
Israel captured the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East War.
In one of the most striking moments of the show, a soldier is portrayed standing in front of a father with a baby held high in his hands and firing a bullet at the baby, killing it instantly.
Producer Selcuk Cobanoglu told Israeli news site Y-net, however, that the characters in his series do not represent Israelis.
"The uniforms ... only look similar. The Turkish and American militaries have uniforms like that as well," he said. "We love the people in Israel. We love the Israelis."
Turkey's state-run TRT television that airs the series has made no comments on the issue so far.
The Web site of TRT includes a brief explanation of the series and announces that the production is "a heartfelt display of the events in Palestine, which was occupied in 1948."
The site said the series "portrays the sorrow of women and children, in particular, and gives a voice to the suffering of mothers whose children and husbands were slaughtered."