Two minor historical artifacts found in excavation in Turkey’s Mersin
The diggings received wide media coverage as it was conducted under heavy police presence and involved the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
Among the findings were a historical coin and a broken column, according to the expert report, which also said the excavation area was a grade-three archaeological site.
“No removable and unremovable cultural assets can be found, except one bronze coin, one part of a broken column and some ceramic pieces, which will undergo examination, in the excavation works in the area,” it stated.
“Filling three holes dug as part of the excavation has been demanded for the safety of people and property,” the report added.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aytuğ Atıcı had claimed that the Vatican ordered illegal digging in Tarsus for St. Paul’s missing bible.
However, the Vatican has denied claims that it is involved in archeological digs aiming to find St. Paul’s Bible in Tarsus.
“The Vatican has no involvement whatsoever in any archeological excavation or any other activity in Tarsus,” Ambassador of Vatican to Ankara Archbishop Paul Russell told the Hürriyet Daily News on Nov. 1.
Tarsus is a Turkish city 27 kilometers east of Mersin, best known as the birthplace of Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul.
The dig was in fact part of an investigation of a gang of illegal treasure hunters accused of murdering an undercover police officer.
Sibel Erdal, the wife of the killed police officer Metin Erdal, said her husband was killed in 2012 during an undercover assignment to reveal treasure hunters.
Erdal claimed that the investigation file was closed because a number of police officers were involved in the treasure-hunting.