Turkish Police has seized 26456 smuggled artefacts in the biggest operation against artefact smugglers spanning through four cities.
Security forces had been monitoring the smuggling network for the past three months and launched the first operations on December 12th last year. Acting on the information obtained by the testimonies of captured suspects, they uncovered the identities of more people involved in the smuggling ring. It was unclear how the gang got the artefacts, but security sources said the suspects were planning to smuggle them to other countries. The artefacts will be handed over to the Istanbul Museum of Archaeology. Among the artefacts is a 3000-year-old Mycenaean sword, a bust of Alexander the Great made upon the order of the ancient king during his India campaign, a queen’s crown adorned with golden leaves from the Hellenistic period, ancient coins and a wide variety of other artefacts. Several fossils, as well as artefacts from Islam’s early history in Anatolia were found during the operations.
(after Daily Sabah & DHA Photo)