Valuable historical artifacts seized in Istanbul
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Istanbul police seized 237 valuable historical artifacts in Istanbul and detained five suspects on Aug. 6.
Anti-smuggling teams had been following individuals who were believed to have planned selling and smuggling out of the country the artifacts that were unearthed in illegal excavations in different regions of Turkey.
Acting on the information obtained via surveillance operations, the police units identified and raided several addresses in the Bakırköy, Fatih and Şişli districts of Istanbul.
The authorities detained five people in connection with the artifact smuggling.
Archeologists helped police examine the objects found in the operation.
Among the valuable historical artifacts seized was a 2,000-year-old bronze gladiator helmet believed to have been used by the Romans.
The police also seized 14 inlaid cauldrons from the Mameluke era, four helmets dating back to the Safavid dynasty and three shields.
Three bronze plaques with Hebrew inscriptions on them as well as a total of 21 coins belonging to the Ancient Greeks and Roman era, 21 door latches and one ring from the Seljuk era and an around 700-year-old Torah were also seized by the police.
The artifacts will be handed over to the Istanbul Archeology Museum, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum and Topkapı Palace Museum.