Turks unruffled over bird

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The Independent Online
Fowl deeds looked to be afoot when Turkey arrived at their Lincolnshire base for the European Championship finals to be greeted by a large bird bearing a striking resemblance to their county's name.

However, fears of a joke too far at the Belton Woods hotel, near Grantham, were dispelled when it was discovered that the towering turkey could not give a stuff for Euro 96.

The Turks had arrived on the day the British Turkey Federation was holding its annual charity golf tournament and the moulded-paper bird was promoting the event.

This did not prevent Steve Harron, the hotel's deputy-general manager, having to field calls from journalists wanting to hear about insulted Turkish players demanding that the bird be taken down.

"It was just coincidence that the party arrived on the day of the tournament," he said. "The turkey was removed at the end of the event as normal."

The Turks were bemused. "We are not against any turkey," Bekir Orhan Sahin, a Turkey spokesman, said. "We all saw it. There was no problem. Things here are excellent."