Treasure hunters descend on Istanbul’s Kemerburgaz amid rumors of gold discovery
ISTANBULAmid rumors that 150 kilograms of gold has been found in Istanbul’s Kemerburgaz district during subway excavation works, treasure hunters have descended on the area in the hope of striking lucky, daily Habertürk reported on Aug. 23.
Rumors of a treasure being found at an ongoing subway construction site in the district first emerged about three months ago. According to the rumors spread around the district’s Mithatpaşa neighborhood, the construction workers were unable to divide up the gold between them and ended up getting discovered by gendarmerie teams.
Afterwards, the Sarıyer Fısıltı local newspaper further spread the rumors, piquing the interest of treasure hunters in the district’s aqueducts, Habertürk reported.
Mithatapa neighborhood head (muhtar) Gürkan Yılmaz has complained that the treasure hunters were digging various parts of the district without permission, despite the fact that not even one person is reported to have found even one coin.
“There is a church 500 meters away from the subway excavation site. This prompted rumors that someone found gold there. Whoever started the rumor probably believed it himself. There are also a number of aqueducts from the era of [Ottoman Sultan] Mehmet I. So all kinds of people are constantly digging here,” Yılmaz was quoted as saying.
He also claimed the treasure hunters hired professional materials required for the digging, costing up to 10,000 Turkish Liras.
“They are digging between five and six meters in one night and then deserting. We then have to ask the municipality to close off these pits,” he said.
“There are also rumors that back when the Greeks were leaving they put a pot of gold in the water channel [in Kemerburgaz]. Well, it must have been a remarkable kind of pot to resist the waters’ current. We are fed up with all these rumors,” Yılmaz added.
“They are usually doing their digging at points close to the aqueducts or inside the city walls. Every time I come to this area, my heart aches. There is no protection. There is also graffiti writing on the walls of the historic aqueducts, while some of the pieces have fallen off. Precautions need to be taken urgently,” he also said.