The Turkish government reclaimed 65 thousand historical artifacts in a raid in Aegean Izmir and Manisa, halting the largest heist in the history of the republic, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said on Aug. 14.
"65 thousand artifacts, 52 thousand of which were coins, remained where they belong thanks to the largest historical artifacts raid in the history of the republic," Ersoy tweeted.
İzmir ve Manisa'da gerçekleştirilen Cumhuriyet tarihinin en büyük tarihî eser kaçakçılığı operasyonuyla 52 bini sikke olan 65 bin adet eserimiz ait olduğu topraklarda kaldı.— Mehmet Nuri Ersoy (@MehmetNuriErsoy) August 14, 2020
Operasyonu yürüten @TC_icisleri Bakanlığımıza ve Cumhuriyet Savcılığımıza teşekkür ediyorum.
Seven suspects were detained for the attempted heist.
The coins were traced back to the Lydia civilization that existed between around 1200 and 500 B.C.
Turkish police's Smuggling and Organized Crime Directorate (KOM) shared a video on their social media showing officers digging artifacts out of dirt and flower pots.
CUMHURİYET TARİHİNİN EN BÜYÜK TARİHİ ESER KAÇAKÇILIĞI OPERASYONUNDA; 13/08/2020 tarihinde İzmir Kaçakçılık Suçlarıyla Mücadele Şube Müdürlüğümüz tarafından 65 bin 511 adet tarihi eser yakalanmıştır. @EmniyetGM— KOM Daire Başkanlığı (@KomDaire) August 14, 2020
#KOM #Kaçakçılık #Operasyon pic.twitter.com/R36698Q7q9
A person was also detained for trying to sell a vase, two bronze statues and two bronze containers for 500,000 liras in western Balıkesir.
Police searched his house and vehicle, confiscated the artifacts and started the legal process against the suspect.
Finally, a suspect with one book, 18 coins, two rings and four statues was detained in southeastern Gaziantep during a road control.Ancient roman toilets in southwest Turkey to open summer 2021