Germany calls for boycott of anti-U.S. film

Feb. 21, 2006 at 11:47 AM
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BERLIN, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- German political leaders and Jewish organizations have demanded the boycott of a Turkish action movie that casts U.S. soldiers in Iraq as villains.

Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber and the German Central Council of Jews blasted "Valley of the Wolves: Iraq" as anti-American and anti-Semitic and called on German cinemas to stop showing the picture.

"This irresponsible film does not encourage integration but sows hate and mistrust against the West," Stoiber told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in a reference to the film's popularity among Germany's large Turkish immigrant community. "I urge the cinema owners in Germany to pull this racist and anti-Western hate film immediately... EU candidate Turkey should take a clear stand."

German Free Democrat lawmaker Silvana Koch-Mehrin said Stoiber was acting "not unlike the regimes in Arabic countries that attack the European press freedom and the freedom of speech."

The film, Turkey's most expensive picture ever, has cracked the top 5 of the German box office after huge success in Turkey.

It is based on an actual event, when a U.S. military unit in July 2003 arrested 11 Turkish soldiers on grounds of "suspicious activity."

The film then dives into fiction to feature a Rambo-like Turkish hero who exacts revenge for the episode that at the time offended Turks and tested U.S.-Turkish relations.

It also depicts U.S. troops committing atrocities against innocent Iraqi civilians and includes a Jewish doctor who works alongside the Americans in a secret human organ trade.

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