Smuggled Torah, artifacts seized in Turkey’s northwest
AYVALIK – Anadolu AgencyAnti-smuggling teams have seized a stolen Torah believed to be 1,500 years old, along with other historical artifacts belonging to the Hellenistic and Seljuq periods, in an operation in Turkey’s western resort town of Ayvalık.
Gendarmerie forces also detained two suspects who were later released on probation.
The smugglers are believed to have brought the artifacts from Istanbul and eastern province of Bingöl, according to police sources.
An ancient Torah inscribed on leather was among the smuggled artifacts, which were handed to the Balıkesir Museum Directorship.
Among the other artifacts were metal statues, stone rubbings, name bracelets, and earrings from the Hellenistic period, as well as 200 ancient silver and bronze coins indicated to be minted during the reign of the Anatolian Seljuk state, which was established in parts of Anatolia conquered from the Byzantine Empire and reached its highest level in the 12th and early 13th centuries.