Over 1,700 historical artifacts seized in Istanbul, Mersin
Over 1,000 pieces of historical artifacts were seized in operations in Istanbul, a security source said on Jan. 9.
Acting on a tip, anti-smuggling teams conducted operations in three addresses on Jan. 8 in Nişantaşı neighborhood of the metropolis, the source said on condition of anonymity.
Security forces were tipped that an individual, who was earlier detained for possessing historical artifacts in his flat, was again collecting the valuable pieces illegally.
In the operations, a suspect, identified by the initials A.E.G., was detained, while 1,134 pieces of historical artifacts were also seized, the source added.
Some of the artifacts are believed to be dating back to 2000 B.C. and some icons bear drawings of Virgin Mary, child Jesus and the apostles.
Candle holders carrying Seljukian motifs, artifacts of Ottoman, Anatolian civilizations and Armenia as well as stelas and coins disassembled from cultural assets, tiles and edges were also among the artifacts.
Meanwhile, a total of 746 pieces of historical artifacts were seized in an operation in southern Turkey, security sources said on Jan. 10.
Gendarmerie teams of the Mediterranean Mersin province arrested a suspect, identified only by the initials H.K., in Mut district.
The suspect attempted to place historical artifacts from the Middle Age and the Roman period on the market.
Turkish security forces disguised as buyers contacted H.K. and the suspect brought historical artifacts from his home after agreeing on a price.
Among the historical artifacts seized were 698 coins, 24 rings, 16 earrings, three spearheads, two bird figurines, a cross, pendant and detector.