News / Middle East

Hit TV Series Behind Latest Israel-Turkey Spat

A scene from the popular Turkish fictional television series Valley of the Wolves shows Turkish agents rescuing a baby kidnapped by the Israeli secret service as they storm an Israeli diplomatic mission.

Multimedia

Audio

A Turkish soap opera that depicted the Israeli intelligence service Mossad spying inside Turkey and kidnapping Turkish babies has become the center of an increasingly bitter diplomatic dispute between Israel and Turkey. Once, close allies, relations between the two countries started deteriorating following Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip in 2008.

A scene from the popular Turkish fictional television series Valley of the Wolves shows Turkish agents rescuing a baby kidnapped by the Israeli secret service as they storm an Israeli diplomatic mission.

In this episode, the show's star, secret agent Polat Alemdar, storms an Israeli diplomatic mission to rescue a Turkish boy.

One scene shows blood splaying over the Star of David as Polat Alemdar shoots and kills an Israeli agent. When a second Israeli agent warns him that he is on foreign soil and is committing a war crime, the agent responds: "Is it only you who is allowed to carry out war crimes?"

On Monday after it aired, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon  summoned the Turkish ambassador to complain about the television show.

Ayalon's treatment of Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Oguz Celikkol at the start of the meeting Monday drew immediate criticism when Ayalon refused to shake his hand.

The Turkish ambassador was also forced to sit on a low sofa, while Ayalon, sitting on a much higher seat, explained to local TV stations in Hebrew that the humiliation was intentional.

Outraged, Turkey threatened to recall the ambassador.

Late Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office sent a letter of apology.  Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted the apology.

Over the past decade, the two countries had built up a strong relationship, including military cooperation and tourism, making Turkey Israel's closest ally in the Muslim world. But lately, Israel has been troubled by harsh statements from Mr. Erdogan, who was outraged by the high Palestinian civilian death toll during Israel's Gaza offensive a year ago.
 
Israel is also concerned with a perception that Turkey is moving closer to Iran, considered by Israel as a strategic threat.

Days after the Gaza offensive began, Mr. Erdogan stalked off a stage he was sharing with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with the parting shot: "You kill people."

On the streets of Istanbul,  there is also growing support for the government's tough stance towards Israel. This man's view is not uncommon.

I support the prime minister, this man says. It is important to speak out about what is happening in the Gaza, as the world has remained silent. He is right in what he did.

With the support of both the European Union and the United States,  Turkey developed a strategic relationship with Israel. In 1995, Israel and Turkey signed a military cooperation agreement, which allowed Israeli jets to use Turkish airspace to train while Turkish forces were allowed use of Israel's training facilities.

The agreement was the start of a deepening relationship both militarily and politically.

Analysts say the basis for that strategic alliance was protection from their common enemy, Syria. At the time, Damascus was providing protection for Abdullah Ocalan whose Kurdistan workers party or PKK was fighting the Turkish state.

 "Turkey was fighting a war against an insurrectionary movement whose leader was sitting in Syria. And the relation with Israel within two years allowed Turkey to tell the Syrians you either kick him out or we will come in there to pick him up. And, it worked," explains analyst Soli Ozel of Istanbul's Bilgi University.

But, since then, Turkish-Syrian relations have dramatically improved. In late December,  Syria and Turkey announced they have decided to cancel entry visa requirements of each other for their passport-holding citizens. At the end of a high-level meeting in Damascus, Mr. Erdogan hailed the the "brotherly ties" between the two countries and said it was an example to be followed.

The Turkish-Syrian relationship could spell trouble for relations with Israel.    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is due to travel to Turkey on Sunday on a visit planned before the two nations' diplomatic quarrel erupted.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid