Photo: Beyaz Gazete
Turkish authorities claimed to have found the body of an Israeli spy in the country last week.That’s it to the right. Yes, it’s a bird.
The alleged spy was found in Gaziantep, and was suspected after a ring with a serial number and the word “Israel” stamped on it were found on its leg, YNet reports.
The “spy” was a “Merops Apiaster” (commonly called the European Bee-Eater), to be exact. The bird was found in a district known for its apiaries, or bee farms.
While banding birds on their legs before they migrate is common practice in ornithology (The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel confirmed the bird was banded about four years ago), Turkish authorities say they have even more damning evidence of Israeli espionage: the bird’s unusually large nostril, the President of Beekeepers Association told Haberturk.
The Beyaz Gazete reports the nostril was big enough to insert a microchip in.
The bird’s remains, found by locals, were originally handed over to the Turkish Agriculture Ministry, which then turned it over to Ankara’s security services.
Yoav Pearlman of the Israeli Birdwatching centre explained that the north of Israel is home to a large bee-eater population, and many more come to the country before making their way to Turkey, southern Europe and Russia. “The Turkish authorities can rest easy – it’s not a spy,” Pearlman told YNet.
But given the strain in Israel-Turkey relations, Turkish authorities probably might not believe him.
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