Remember back a few months ago–when an entire herd of sheep–literally hundreds of sheep–jumped off a cliff to their deaths in some village in Eastern Turkey and nobody could explain why? Well–apparently sheep aren’t the only farm animals that Turkey’s farmers have problems raising. This week–the World Health Organization and numerous other health organizations announced that Turkey has suffered an outbreak of the infamous Avian "Bird" flu. "What does that mean?" you ask. Well–let me put it this way: If you’re in Turkey and you start sniffling–shivering–and coughing then don’t have the chicken noodle soup. Why? Because you just might be looking at the source.
The Avian "Bird" Flu is a disease that originated in Asia and is transmitted through birds–specifically chickens. Apparently–it’s very dangerous–having killed 60 people since 2003 and the virus spreads like wildfire. In fact–the World Health Organization is predicting a pandemic soon. Not just an epidemic but a PANdemic. In case you were wondering–a pandemic is worse than an epidemic. It’s an epidemic on steroids. Europe is shaking in its boots. As if Europe needed yet another reason to reject Turkey’s accession into the European Union–the news of the bird flu in Turkey could not have come at a better time. I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying "OK–Skepo. We get it. Chicken flu. Turkey. We see the poultry puns coming a mile away." Well–you’re wrong. This is serious business. Poor Turkey already became the butt of all sheep jokes with the mass suicide of 450 sheep. Now it has to quarantine almost 8000 chickens due to the lethal virus.
I’m not saying that the spread of this disease was avoidable. No country is completely safe from this disease. For all I know–the next 9 piece chicken McNugget Happy Meal I order may come with an extra helping of McFlu. But I’m willing to bet hard currency that the Turkish authorities still don’t have this problem under control and instead of tightening security and monitoring all imports–some corrupt official is allowing truckloads of chickens across the border as you read this.
Another message this epidemic outbreak sent across the Bosphorus to Europe is that the Republic of Turkey is in a sad–disorganized–and corrupt state and that they can’t take care of their own poultry. Now–Armenia’s have known for sometime that something was "a foul" in Turkey (I tried but I couldn’t resist) but now–slowly but surely–the rest of the world is witnessing how incompetent the Turkish government is.
This must be a serious blow to Turkey’s ego. But Turkish citizens–don’t worry. The Turkish government’s top historians and spin doctors are hard at work at this very moment rewording the recent events that have occurred in their country to fit their psychological needs. I can just imagine what the official stance of the Turkish Department of Agriculture will be. It may sound something like this:
"It is a tragedy that chickens have suffered during this time but we have to remember that scientists and historians disagree on how the chickens died. In fact–farmers in Turkey are lying about the figures of chickens which have been culled. Also–the chickens are not going to be destroyed but are being relocated from their chicken coops for their own safety. And let’s not forget that many sheep have died during this period as well and the chickens aren’t the only ones who suffered. The bottom line is this? those damn chickens were siding with their Chinese chicken brothers across the border to overthrow the status quo in Turkey and if the Turkish government did order their extermination–then those stupid chickens deserved it! We are the Turkish Government and we approve of this message."
I’m imagining a Colonel Sanders type character wearing a red fez–reading this message on TV and then cutting to a commercial of Kazakhi Fried Chicken.
Well–all I can say is this: To all the people that were complaining that Turkey was blockading Armenia for so long–look who’s smiling now! Was there ever a time you were more happy to hear that Turkey has no trade with Armenia? Blockade us all you want. What goes around–comes around. You can keep your border closed and take your bird flu with you! Hayastan will do just fine with what we have plenty of-pork–the other white meat. I always liked the McRib better anyway.
Skeptik Sinikian is the current Southern California Zankou Chicken Eating Champion. This competition is not an official event. It’s organized by Mr. Sinikian and he is the only participant and three year defending champion. If you would like to challenge him or suggest an answer to the question in the title of this article–email him at [email protected] or visit his ridiculously outdated blog at www.sinikian.blogspot.com.