Turkish Islamist group
Turkish Islamist groupIsrael news photo: (file)

As tensions flare between Israel and Turkey over a canceled joint exercise and a televised video series portraying Israeli soldiers as murderers, it has been announced that Turkish soldiers have arrested dozens of terrorists who were allegedly plotting to attack Israeli targets.

The arrests, reported Thursday by Turkish media, were part of a larger campaign targeting the international terrorist group Al-Qaeda. Those arrested allegedly planned attacks on Israeli, American, and NATO targets in the region. Turkish forces also seized computers and documents linking the would-be attackers to Al-Qaeda.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon praised the counterterror raid. The move proves that Turkey is committed to fighting terrorism, he said.

Earlier in the day Israeli representatives filed a complaint over the Turkish television series “Ayrilik,” which depicts IDF soldiers as bloodthirsty killers who roam Judea and Samaria beating innocent elderly Arabs and shooting babies and children.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the show “constitutes the most serious level of incitement.” Senior ministry official Naor Gilon warned Turkish officials that the show “is likely to lead to physical attacks on Jews and Israelis.”

In response to criticism of his work, Turkish producer Selcuk Cobanoglu denied in an interview with Voice of Israel government radio that he had intended to portray all Israeli soldiers in a negative light. Cobanoglu said the videos were meant to show “a certain group” of soldiers, but insisted that as a general rule, he respects Jews and Israelis.