Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Turkish officials foil ‘attempt to steal’ 1,200-year-old Bible

Turkish officials foil ‘attempt to steal’ 1,200-year-old Bible
February 05
20:01 2019
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Three suspects were apprehended while trying to sell a 1,200-year-old Bible in the Diyarbakir province of south-eastern Turkey.

The Bible is said to contain 34 pages with gold lettering on leather.

According to a statement from the Diyarbakir governor’s office, the suspects were caught during an anti-smuggling operation.

The statement said a total of six suspects were taken into custody, although no further details were given on the arrest.

The Anatolian heartland is home to numerous holy sites revered by Christians, making Turkey a primary destination for those smuggling antiquities from Syria which is close to Diyarbakır at the border.

In Turkey’s cultural capital of Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia landmark is linked to a former eastern orthodox church which was once the largest in christendom.

It was converted to a mosque in 1453 by the Turks and into a museum in 1935.

Christians form a small minority in the predominantly Muslim population of Turkey, a country of 82 million people.

Thousands of anti-smuggling operations are carried across Turkey every year to halt the illegal sale of historical objects and protect the country’s rich cultural heritage.

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