Turkish media this week reported that local authorities have been inspecting the carcass of a dead bird as a suspected Israeli spy. Sadly, the story is not satire, but rather another indicator of the worsening relations between Israel and Turkey, which is today prepared to believe even the most ludicrous allegations against its former regional ally.
Israel's Yediot Ahronot picked up the story on Tuesday, reporting that the bird was found dead by a Turkish farmer, who became suspicious after discovering it was wearing a leg band inscribed with the word "Israel." Of course, ornithologists regularly attach leg bands to migrating birds. And with Israel sitting right in the middle of the main Europe-Africa migration paths, such research is commonplace in the Jewish state.
According to Turkish media, the bird carcass was taken by Turkish security services, who paid special attention to the fact that one of the nostrils was larger than the other. They apparently believed the enlarged nostril was potential evidence of Mossad tampering.
Not too many years ago, such a claim would have been dismissed long before reaching official levels, let alone Turkish national media. But of late, the current Turkish regime has been conditioning its people to view Israel in the same light as many of the regional Arab states, which have been taken in by ever more bizarre conspiracy theories regarding Israel, its capabilities and its designs on the Middle East.