Anti-Israeli Series Continues on Turkey’s State-Owned Television

Weekly Standard reports:

This Tuesday, Turkish state-owned TRT channel aired the second episode of “Ayrilik” (“Farewell”), a highly controversial prime-time TV series set against the backdrop of “Operation Cast Lead” in the Gaza strip that shows Israeli soldiers shooting a smiling young girl in the chest, killing babies, steamrolling tanks through crowded streets, lining up a firing squad to execute a group of Palestinians, and so forth......

After its first airing last week, the show quickly sparked fresh diplomatic tensions between Israel and Turkey, with Israeli foreign minister Lieberman protesting that Ayrilik “constitutes the most serious level of [anti-Israeli] incitement, and it is being done with [Turkish] state sponsorship”. His foreign ministry spokesman described the show as “hate-inciting television drama, which depicted distorted facts......

The Ayrilik scandal comes on the heels of Turkey’s decision earlier this month to block the Israeli air force from joining the annual multi-national “Anatolian Eagle” military exercise, which prompted the United States and Italy to cancel their participation as well, in a clear show of solidarity with Israel.....Prime Minister Erdogan told al-Arabia television that Ankara’s decision was due to the “Turkish people’s wishes.” “I had to lend an ear to the voice of my people. They don’t want Israel in these exercises.” Hamas, Syria, and Iran all strongly applauded Turkey’s decision to boot the IDF.

Israeli observers, for their part, are quite concerned about this particular incident, primarily because it demonstrates that even the traditionally pro-Western Turkish military has now decided to support Prime Minister Erdogan and his Islamist AKP party in their anti-Israel course. Also, officials from Israel and Turkey have already made it clear that the on-going deterioration in relations between the two countries could derail bilateral defense trade and military industrial cooperation.

....Turkey just last week signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Syria that covers both closer civil and defense ties, including the lifting of all visa requirements....

Read the fully story here

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