27 Jul 2013

Suspected spy bird freed

9:59 am on 27 July 2013

Turkey reportedly detained a bird on suspicion it was spying for Israel, but freed it after X-rays showed it was not embedded with surveillance equipment.

The kestrel aroused suspicion because of a metal ring on its foot carrying the words "24311 Tel Avivunia Israel", prompting residents in the village of Altinayva to hand it over to the governor.

The Milliyet newspaper reported on Friday the bird was put in an X-ray machine at a university hospital to check for microchips or bugging devices.

Ties between Turkey and Israel have been tense since May 2010 when Israeli commandoes killed nine Turks aboard the Mavi Marmara, a ship in a convoy which was seeking to break a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.