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Friday, October 23, 2009

'If it happened to us, what would we do to Israel'?

You may recall the post I did last week about the Turkish television series Ayrilik (Separation) that made IDF soldiers out to be genocidal murderers in a movie shown on a 'family channel' in prime time.

In Thursday's Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand asks his countrymen how they would react if there were a television series in Israel that made similar accusations against Turkey. My guess is that there would be a lot of Muslim seething....
If it were us, we’d destroy Israel

For a moment let’s put ourselves in Israel’s place and ask ourselves:

- How would we react if Israeli TV broadcast a story that is half reality, half fiction about Turkish soldiers in Southeast Turkey forcing villagers to eat feces or showing unsolved murders or some real events that are on trial in court?

We would devastate Israel. We would arrange a movement and place a wreath on synagogues. Let’s tell the truth, wouldn’t we do that? Don’t you dare say NO.
Well, they would certainly try to destroy Israel. But Israel would never show a series like that - we're too politically correct. It's far more likely that a Muslim country would try to destroy us for showing a romance between a Jew and a Muslim, something our television stations are far more likely to show.

The article also discusses the government's role in Turkish television. While he excuses the series as an accident, as Harry Truman was wont to say: The buck stops here, and the Turkish government is responsible for what goes on their airwaves.

As you might suspect, there are also some nasty, anti-Semitic comments.

Read the whole thing.

It should be noted that Turkish television did cut some scenes from the second episode, which was shown on Tuesday:
A scene showing Israeli soldiers shooting a row of blindfolded Palestinians was cut from the second episode, broadcast on Tuesday, Selçuk Çobanoğlu told Milliyet daily. “Each broadcaster has its own regulations of supervision. … We don't have objections to this situation,” he said.

Çobanoğlu rejected accusations that the series incited hatred against Israel, insisting that the main theme was about love, which “will become more obvious in the upcoming episodes,” he said.
And then there's this little tidbit.
Meanwhile, Hürriyet daily reported on Thursday that “Ayrılık” also caused tension to rise between Turkey and Iran.

TRT failed to pay the balance due for the hotel bill in Tabriz, Iran, where some of the scenes were shot. The Iranian foreign ministry stepped in and gave Turkey a diplomatic note.

By the way, the picture at the top is Turkish 'basketball fans' burning an Israeli flag at a game that took place during Operation Cast Lead.


At 11:33 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

While Muslims make fun of other cultures, they don't take kindly to being laughed at. It is impossible to satirize aspects of Islam without provoking a violent reaction. We know what they do to Israel if their "honor" was assaulted. Israel, not so much. There is a gulf between them and the West that quite simply cannot be bridged as it comes not only with different perspectives on the world but with different definitions of the self. There are limits apparent to multicultural outreach even with relatively advanced Muslim societies such as Turkey.


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