Turkish museum head detained over historical artifact smuggling
Aydın Archeology Museum Director Abdülbari Yıldız has been detained as part of an investigation concerning the smuggling of historical artifacts.
The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in the western province of Aydın has issued an arrest warrant for 37 people for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of historical artifacts, Demirören news agency reported.
As part of the investigation, the police on March 21 carried out simultaneous operations in 11 provinces of Turkey.
During the operations, 34 people, including Aydın Archeology Museum Director Abdülbari Yıldız and some of the museum staff, were detained. The police are looking out for the other three suspects.
Among the detained people, there are also reportedly two police officers on active duty.
A marble statue, which is believed to belong to the 18th century, was also seized during the operation. The statue will be handed over to the Aydın Museum Directorate for examination.