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Turkish producer: We love Israelis
Despite clear similarity between khaki uniform of soldiers depicted in new Turkish series 'Ayrilik' and IDF uniform, producer of series which shows soldiers killing innocent Palestinian children says 'these are not IDF uniforms…We have nothing against Israelis'

After the political strife between Israel and Turkey reached the small screen, with a fictional TV show showing IDF solders shooting innocent Palestinian children, the show's producer now wishes to clarify: "The story in the show made a lot of noise, and it's important that I stress that we have nothing against Israel."

 

Speaking with Ynet on Thursday, Selcuk Cobanoglu, producer of the series "Ayrilik" explained, "The series has six episodes that follow a love story between a soldier and a Palestinian girl. The show is about Palestine and love."

 

He added, "The uniforms are not IDF uniforms, they only look similar. The Turkish and American militaries have uniforms like that as well."

 

At the start of each episode it is clearly stated that it is not a true story, but a fictional one. Cobanoglu said, "Clearly it must be real enough for the viewer, but these are not the same uniforms. It is very important that I stress that we love the people in Israel. We love the Israelis.

 

"We know that Israel didn't do these things, but there are small groups who did things like this sometimes, they killed children and things like that. We made the series about them, not about Israel directly," he said.

 

He continued to ask the question, "Does the show reflect reality?" and answered, "In Operation Cast Lead 300 children were killed. Muhammad al-Durra was also killed. Is this logical?"

 

For a new series, Cobanoglu said, Ayrilik, won much popularity, but he added it was merely a coincidence that the show was screened at a time of political tension.

 

"The government is not involved in the show's content," he said, "We do not work for the government but for the television company."

 

Despites the attempts to calm the storm, when watching clips from the series, which is broadcast on the state-run TRT1 channel, it is hard not to notice the depiction of IDF soldiers in it.

 

In one scene an armed Israeli soldier can be seen pushing a young Palestinian girl against a wall. She looks at him, but the soldier aims his weapon at her, and after she smiles at him, he shoots her in the chest. The child drops to the ground and dies, and the soldier leaves the site.

 

In another episode, Palestinians can be seen clashing with IDF forces, some of which are carrying firearms and others are armed with stones and slingshots. At the end of the fight an IDF soldier can be seen passing over the body of a young Palestinian and kicking it with his foot. Immediately afterwards the youth's mother is seen coming out of her house, holding her son's body and crying over him.

 

On Wednesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman summoned the acting Turkish ambassador to Israel to a meeting with high-ranking ministry officials.

 

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."

 

Rachel Cadars contributed to this report

 

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