Soldiers in Europe have been advised to avoid movie theaters showing a new
Turkish film that depicts U.S. soldiers as indiscriminate killers of Iraqis,
according to an Army communication circulated last week.
In a message sent to troops at U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels in eastern
Germany on Friday, Army officials ask troops to steer clear of �anything that
looks like a protest� at theaters showing the film �Kurtlar Vadisi Irak� (�The
Valley of the Wolves Iraq�) and to avoid discussions about the movie.
�Force protection advice is to avoid theaters or movie plexes showing the
film and to avoid getting into discussions about the movie with persons you
don�t know,� the advisement reads.
The Hohenfels notice was a copy of a memo sent to all U.S. Army Europe bases
last week warning that the film was due for European release early this month,
said U.S. Army Europe spokesman Bob Purtiman.
The movie is reportedly one of the biggest-budget pictures to come out of
Turkey to date, and shows scenes of American troops firing on civilians at a
wedding in northern Iraq, according to the film�s Web site. The movie begins
with a portrayal of a real event in 2003, when U.S. soldiers mistakenly arrested
11 Turkish commandos in northern Iraq, sparking a brief diplomatic clash between
the U.S. and Turkey.
In the film, the event pushes one of the commandos to commit suicide, driving
a friend to travel to Iraq to find the man who orchestrated the 2003 arrests.
There, the character finds �unendurable crimes against humanity� being
committed by an American Special Forces unit under the command of a character
played by Hollywood actor Billy Zane, the film�s Web site reads.
Actor Gary Busey also has a role as a Jewish-American doctor who removes and
sells organs from survivors sent to Abu Ghraib prison, according to an
Associated Press report.
The film will be released in European theaters � including in London and
Wiesbaden and Frankfurt in Germany � in the weeks following its Feb. 3 premiere
in Turkey, prompting Army officials to send out last week�s advisory.
The Army note was one of several sent to servicemembers in Europe last week
in anticipation of the release of the film.
At Incirlik Air Base near the city of Adana, Turkey, home to the 39th Air
Base Wing, the base commander told servicemembers that a Turkish blockbuster was
coming out, but did not mention either the content of the film or any advice to
avoid it, base spokeswoman Capt. Denise Burnham said.
Troops only were advised to remember general safety precautions about being
in large crowds in foreign nations, she said.
The release of the film also prompted officials at U.S. Air Forces in Europe
headquarters to send a similar �internal notice� last week reminding airmen to
exercise caution, a USAFE spokesman said Monday.