Turkish security forces seized a 1,300-year-old Jewish Torah and a leather scripture cover inlaid with patterns in an anti-smuggling operation in western Turkey’s Afyonkarahisar province Wednesday.
Acting on a tip-off, Provincial Gendarmerie Units searched a suspicious car during a road check in Ihsaniye district where they found the historic artifacts.
Reports said that six suspects were also detained during the operation.
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.
The issue is crucial to a country that is home to about 3,000 ancient cities from 42 civilizations, and whose tourism industry relies on its rich historical heritage to attract millions of foreigners each year.