Security forces seized a 1,300-year-old gold-gilded book in an anti-smuggling operation in southeastern Turkey's Diyarbakır province Saturday.
The Anti-smuggling Branch of the Provincial Gendarmerie Command found out through investigations that three smuggling suspects from Bismil and Ergani districts were planning to sell the ancient book.
The suspects were caught red-handed when the security forces raided a property in Bismil district. where the bargain was supposed to take place.
Written in Assyrian letters on papyrus, the 102-page book also includes some religious motifs.
The ancient book was confiscated while some seven suspects were detained in relation to the smuggling incident.
Thousands of anti-smuggling operations are carried out 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 foreign visitors each year.