Turkey villagers see Israeli spy in migratory bird (BBC) British Broadcasting Company) 16 May 2012 Last updated at 14:38 GMT)
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A migratory bird has caused alarm in a village in south-eastern
Turkey after locals mistook it for an Israeli spy.
Villagers´ suspicions were aroused when the bird, a common European
bee-eater, was found dead in a field with a metal ring around its leg
They called the police after deciding its nostrils were unusually
large and may have carried a microchip fitted by Israeli intelligence
It was taken to government experts for examination and declared safe.
The BBC´s Jonathan Head, in Istanbul, says the regional office of the
Turkish agriculture ministry examined the colourfully plumed corpse
and assured residents of the village, near the city of Gaziantep,
that it was common practice to fit a ring to migratory birds in order
to track their movements.
An official at the ministry told the BBC that it took some effort to
persuade local police that the little bee-eater posed no threat to
At one point a counterterrorism unit became involved in the case.
Our correspondent says that wildly implausible conspiracy theories
take root easily in Turkey, with alleged Israeli plots among the most
Ties between Turkey and Israel deteriorated sharply after nine
Turkish pro-Palestinian Islamic activists died in a raid by Israeli
security forces on a boat trying to break the blockade on Gaza two
years ago. (© BBC MMXII 05/16/12)
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