2,370 historical artifacts seized in ops against smugglers
Çetin Aydın – ISTANBUL
Anti-smuggling police in Istanbul have seized hundreds of Roman and Byzantine coins and objects made of metals and clay in 11 operations in January.
Ten people, including a hotel owner and antique dealers, were detained in raids on premises in the Sultanahmet neighborhood and the Grand Bazaar.
Some 1,202 coins, 1,155 metal objects, 12 objects made of stone and clay, a handwritten Quran and two detectors used in searching historical objects were seized by the police.
A jug used by Roman commanders and a golden medallion used in baptizing ceremonies during the medieval times are believed to be of high historical value.
Suspects, being charged with violating the law of protecting cultural and natural assets, were referred to court and later released pending trial.