Turkish gendarmerie troops have seized an ancient Bible that was smuggled into Turkey from Syria. Three suspects, including a Syrian national, were detained by troops yesterday in the northwestern city of Bursa. The Bible, stolen from a museum in war-torn Syria, is worth $1.5 million, according to security sources.
The gilded texts of the Bible, written on 17 gazelle-skin pages with pictures of Mary and Jesus, was given to a local museum in Bursa, according to media reports.
Turkey shares a lengthy border with Syria and has seen a tremendous flow of refugees fleeing from a country destroyed by the civil war which is entering its sixth year in March. Turkey claims that border security and customs officers are trained to deal with cross-border smuggling operations. Customs officials, art dealers and collectors were also given an emergency list of possible artifacts that could be smuggled into the country.