Dozens of historical artifacts were seized in two anti-smuggling operations conducted Monday in midwestern Turkey's Bilecik province.
Gendarmerie units launched an operation after receiving a tipoff in Bilecik's Osmaneli district. The units found five sculptures, three crucifixes, four golden necklaces and earrings, seven bronze historical objects and ten tear bottles dating back to the Byzantine and Roman eras. Two suspects were also detained in the operation.
Meanwhile another anti-smuggling operation was carried out in the town of Vezirhan, during which an Aphrodite sculpture, five plates and silver coins dating back to the Roman era were seized, while three suspects were detained.
All the detained suspects were referred to nearby gendarmerie stations, while the confiscated historical artifacts were handed over to the Museum Directorate in Bilecik for further examination.
Thousands of anti-smuggling operations are carried out across Turkey every year to hinder the illegal sale of historical objects and protect the country's rich cultural heritage.