Turkish filmmaker takes aim at U.S. and Israel

Fri Mar 5, 2010 1:27pm EST
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By Simon Akam

ISTANBUL (Reuters Life!) - Israel may not like it, but a popular Turkish TV and film franchise which once depicted a Jewish doctor stealing organs from Muslim prisoners in Iraq now has plans to release a film set in Palestine.

"Valley of the Wolves: Palestine" is projected to cost over $10 million, making it one of the most expensive Turkish films.

Scheduled for a November release, the new project follows the 2006 feature "Valley of the Wolves: Iraq."

That film, which showed American soldiers running amok in northern Iraq, racked up 4.2 million ticket sales in Turkey and accusations of rampant anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.

"After Iraq, we decided that in the next Polat movie we are going to tell again an international story," said scriptwriter Bahadir Ozdener, sitting in an office lined with antique cameras in Nisantasi, an upscale Istanbul neighborhood.

The series' hero is Polat Alemdar, a gun-toting agent with a fondness for sharp tailoring and a dearth of facial expressions.

Played by Necati Sasmaz - who had never acted before - and dubbed by another actor, Polat is sometimes described as the Turkish James Bond. Millions of young Turks idolize him, imitating his mannerisms and speech.

ALTERNATE TAKES   Continued...

<p>A Turkish man looks at a poster of the film "Valley of Wolves - Iraq" at a big shopping mall in Ankara February 1, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Umit Bektas</p>