Turkish police stop major smuggling operation of ancient artefacts

Istanbul police confiscated 26,456 ancient artefacts and detained 13 smugglers in Turkey’s “most extensive anti-smuggling operation”, the pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper said.

The artefacts included coins, pottery, figurines, jewellery and a sword, pictures showed, and were from the Byzantine and Roman Empires, and the Middle Ages, the newspaper said.

The smugglers were planning to sell the artefacts abroad, but the items will now be handed over to Istanbul Archaeology Museum.

Turkey has recently stepped up efforts to stop smuggling and launched initiatives to retrieve stolen artefacts, the report said, in cooperation with Interpol.