Turkish police seize ancient manuscript from smugglers

Suspects in central Kırşehir province attempt to sell ancient leather manuscript thought to be stolen from Syria

Ersin Çelik
13:41 - 12/03/2019 Tuesday
Update: 13:43 - 12/03/2019 Tuesday
Seized ancient manuscript
Seized ancient manuscript

Turkish police recovered an ancient leather manuscript from suspected antiquities traffickers in a central province, security sources said on Tuesday.

The manuscript -- thought to be stolen from a Syrian museum -- were seized in Kırşehir.

Acting on a tip, police squads stopped a suspected car with an Istanbul license plate on Ankara-Kayseri highway near Kaman district of Kırşehir.

They found the manuscript hidden in a rug near the car seat, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The 16-page ancient book written in Hebrew bore different bird figures, a hexagonal shape and a red stone on the cover page.

During the police search, a blank firing gun and cartridges in the glove box of the car were also seized, the sources said.

Two suspects in the car identified only by their initials, E.S and K.G., were arrested for antiquities trafficking charges.

According to suspects’ testimonies to the police, they bought the manuscript in the southeastern Mardin province and were planning to sell it in Istanbul for a large sum of money.

The ancient manuscript was stolen from Syria city museum during the conflicts and was brought to Mardin illegally, the suspect said in their testimonies.

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