Fraudsters tricking people by placing fake objects in place of historical pieces: Minister
AA photoFraudsters have been tricking locals by placing fake objects in place of historical pieces, Tourism and Culture Minister Nabi Avcı has said, Daily Habertürk reported on June 27.
Avcı spoke to journalists about a new method historical artifact smugglers developed to fraud people, urging locals to be on alert against them.
He said the number of complaints authorities were receiving about frauds were increasing, adding that the fraudsters were trying to convince locals with pictures they painted on cave walls and sculptures that look very similar to historical artifacts.
According to Avcı, fraudsters take photos of fake artifacts before sending them to locals and try to convince them the artifacts were hidden in the caves.
“They tell locals that they found some artifacts but in order to take them out they should bribe officials. They offer locals to become partners with them before taking their money,” he said.
Speaking about another method fraudsters used, he said a friend of his had called and informed him about a treasure that was found.
“I asked him whether there was anybody who came asking for money. When I asked, ‘did they show pictures of artifacts taken with a mobile phone camera?’ He said yes. Before, fraudsters were using the name of the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] when swindling people, threatening them by saying PKK militants had seized their mobile phone numbers, and if they wanted to retake their phone numbers they would have to give bribes to them,” he said.
Avcı also stated that the Culture Ministry issued a list of artifacts smuggled from the Baghdad Museum in Iraq during the U.S. invasion.
“It is wrong to associate Turkey with smuggling. We are not responsible for the lack of authority and the lootings happening there. We have issued the same ‘red’ lists for Iraq and Syria. We listed some possible artifacts that could be smuggled from there. We trained our officers at borders. There are some smuggled artifacts which were seized this way. This also prompted the production of fake artifacts. Some artifacts smuggled from Syria and Iraq have been presented as though they were found in Turkey,” he added.