Turkish authorities have decided that a small bird that was discovered in eastern Turkey was not there to spy for Israel. The bird, a kestrel, was wearing a metallic ring stamped with the words “24311 Tel Avivunia Israel”
The staff at Elazig’s Firat University initially identified the kestrel as “Israeli Spy” in registration documents, but after a series of medical examinations including X-rays, it was concluded that the bird was just a bird. The kestrel was allowed to fly away.
Although it is somewhat of a lighthearted story, this incident truly highlights some of the issues that exist between Israel and large segments of Turkish society. Turkey and Israel were in talks about compensation for families of those killed in the Mavi Marmara incident. Those talks have now stalled.
Eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara in 2010 and relations between the two countries have been strained ever since.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, said Israel needs to admit it is paying compensation for a wrongful act and is saying that it is the apology, not the money, that is important.
An Israeli official said Mr. Arinc’s words were aimed at humiliating Israel, The Telegraph reported.
“All of a sudden he says the money is not the issue," the official said. "Indeed, they want to bring us to our knees and read the text that they dictate to us.”