Turkish officials say controversial tv show to continue airing

Turkish officials say controversial tv show to continue airingIstanbul  - Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday that a controversial television drama which Israel accuses of causing incitement against it, will not be taken off the air.

The TV programme Ayirlik ("separation") shows Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian children in Gaza. In one of the scenes, an Israeli soldier shoots an unarmed little girl at point-blank range.

Davutoglu withdrew responsibility from his government regarding this issue, saying the matter is up to the Turkish Radio and Television Corp., the state-run broadcaster which is airing the show.

"This is a matter to be evaluated entirely as part of their broadcast policies. Turkey does not have censorship," he said, while speaking to reporters in Ankara.

"The Foreign Ministry is not a consulting institution for TV series," he added.

The series has led to a strong response from Israeli officials, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently blasting the show as having "not the slightest connection with reality."

Turkey and Israel have enjoyed close relations in the past, but those ties have been strained in recent years, particularly since Israel's invasion of Gaza this past January.

Relations between the two countries took a further dive this week after Turkey indefinitely postponed annual military exercises because of Israel's planned involvement.(dpa)