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Turkey TV series not meant to harm Israel ties-official
ANKARA Oct 16 (Reuters) - A Turkish state television series showing an Israeli soldier shooting dead a Palestinian baby is just fiction and was not meant to cause a diplomatic incident between Israel and Turkey, a Turkish minister said.
"Separations", in which actors playing Israeli soldiers and Palestinians fight street battles in Jerusalem, has strained already tense relations between Israel and its Muslim ally Turkey after Israel summoned a Turkish diplomat to protest at what it called "state-sponsored incitement".
One scene, broadcast on Israel's Channel Two television on Wednesday, shows a Palestinian father holding a baby above his head and an Israeli soldier deliberately shooting the infant.
Ties between the Jewish state and Turkey, a secular state with a Muslim population, have deteriorated since Israel's offensive earlier this year in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, ruled by the Islamist group Hamas.
In the first comments by a Turkish official since the television series incident, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said "Separation" had no political agenda.
"We do not want TRT to be a source of diplomatic trouble for broadcasting such a series," Arinc, who is in charge of state-run TRT, told reporters.
"We see this series as a (fictional) scenario. There is certainly a measure of truth in it. There may be some exaggeration but ultimately this is a television series."
Asked whether the series would be withdrawn from broadcast or if changes would be made, Arinc said: "We are not currently considering anything like that.
Arinc also said that relations between Turkey and Israel "have always been strong and we have total belief that these relations will always be strong".
The row comes after Turkey barred Israel from participating in a NATO war exercise this week, a move Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said was a result of public concerns over the Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip.
The drill was postponed indefinitely after other nations, including the United States and Italy, refused to take part without Israel's air force.
In January Erdogan, head of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, stormed out of a debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in protest at the Gaza offensive. (Writing by Ibon Villelabeitia; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)
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