Istanbul Provincial Gendarmerie Command units have confiscated two Byzantine era mosaics picturing saints, which were illegally smuggled into Turkey, during an anti-smuggling operation in the Sarıyer district.
Gendarmerie units launched an investigation upon receiving information of a possible sale of the historical artifacts.
The investigation showed that foreign nationals had provided the artifacts, and that suspect A.O.Y. was planning to sell them to a client in Sarıyer.
After a physical surveillance, gendarmerie units stopped the vehicle of suspect A.O.Y and confiscated the two Byzantine mosaics during searches.
The mosaics were sent to the Istanbul Archeological Museum Directorate for further examination, while the suspect was referred to judicial authorities for questioning.
The Byzantine era mosaics were put under protection as cultural assets within law number 2863 of the Turkish Code for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Properties.
Gendarmerie units are currently investigating how the two mosaics were smuggled into Turkey.