Israel-Turkey: Ankara suffers spy-bird psychosis

Angry birds from Mossad? Flocks of bee-eaters suspected

15 May, 19:37

(ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, MAY 15 - These brightly feathered migratory birds, with their habit of crossing the Middle East and Central Asia, usually attract the attention of ornithologists and amateur bird spotters. But this season, the bee-eaters may fall victim to the climate of mistrust that has ballooned between Turkey and Israel, former strategic allies in the region. In Ankara, the birds are now being pointed at as mysterious Zionist spies, bearing small detection devices that have been attached to their feet by shadowy Israeli spy masters. The affair has been spoofed to some extent in today's Israeli press, who comment sarcastically on the psychosis over 'Angry Birds' launched by Mossad. As the tabloid Yediot Ahronot puts it, the whole thing started with the casual discovery of a poor dead bee-eater in Turkey. Upon examination, the exemplar of the species merops apiaster was discovered to be have a ring around its leg with Israeli writing on it. It would indeed appear odd that anyone should think that Mossad would leave its signature.

Indeed, there is no hint of surprise among Turkish ornithologists, as this method of marking migratory birds has long been used by researchers interested in following their migratory cycles. But suspicion was fed by the fact that this particular bird had much larger nostrils than usual. This was enough for the specimen to land in the laboratory of Turkey's ministry of agriculture, and for the dossier to be passed on to the country's secret services, who were tasked with deciding whether those two enlarged nostrils may have contained an antenna, or other nefarious devices. No crushing evidence has yet emerged. But the skies of Turkey are presently full of circling bee-eaters, and if Yediot Ahronot is to be believed, the whole lot remain under surveillance. (ANSAmed).

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