Image from Turkish TV series
Turkish PM Erdogan
Photo: Reuters

Turkish vice PM: Israel ties will remain strong

Bulent Arinc, who is in charge of overseeing public television, says Turkish series showing Israeli soldiers deliberately killing Palestinian children is not politically motivated. Turkish FM clarifies that improvement of relations between countries linked to end of 'humanitarian tragedy' in Gaza

There is no political intent against Israel in a Turkish TV series that has angered the Jewish state, local news agency Anatolia reported Friday, quoting Turkey's vice prime minister.


"There is no political goal. None of our TV series have any political motivation," Bulent Arinc, who is in charge of overseeing public television TRT, was quoted as saying Thursday evening.


The series broadcast by TRT "may partly reflect reality. It can also be a bit exaggerated, but it is a TV series, after all," he added.


He clarified that as the person responsible for public television, he doesn't want to see "a TV series to lead to a diplomatic problem.


"Relations between Turkey and Israel have always been strong. We are fully confident that they will always remain strong," he said.


Arinc added, however, that "if we made a mistake ... if we find something (in the series) which might prejudice the interests of the nation, we may consider the matter, both TRT and the government."


He was asked whether the program would be taken off the air or whether changes would be made to the script. "We are not thinking about it," he replied. "The Turkish government does not interfere in drama series. The body supervising television broadcasts is the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK)."


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, on the other hand, said Friday morning that the improvement of relations between Turkey and Israel is linked to the end of the "humanitarian tragedy" in Gaza and the resumption of peace efforts in the region.


"Unfortunately, the offensive in Gaza was a major blow to peace efforts", the minister said. "When the path of peace is retaken, these relations of trust (with Israel) will be restored to where they were before," he added.


"What we want is someone who will end the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza, relaunch peace efforts - both with the Palestinians and Syria - and especially, give priority to peace in the region," he added.

  Israel has strongly protested the TRT broadcasting of a series which shows Israeli soldiers deliberately kill Palestinian children, including a newborn.


The dispute between Israel and Turkey, two strategic allies in the region, worsened last week after Ankara froze Israel out of a joint air force drill.


Relations between Israel and Turkey, a 99% Muslim country, have been on a course of deterioration since January, when Turkey strongly criticized the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip.


פרסום ראשון: 10.16.09, 10:26
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