Turkish security forces Monday seized historical artifacts comprising mainly of coins during anti-smuggling operations. Police acted on a tipoff they received about two people trying to sell the artifacts in the Aegean province of Izmir. In a raid at their residence, police seized 120 historical artifacts, of which most were gold, silver and bronze coins from the Roman, Byzantine and Hellenistic era.
Separately, in the eastern Erzurum province, gendarmerie forces seized 150 coins which are thought to belong to the Venetian period, according to a statement from the governor's office. The seized historical objects were handed over to the Erzurum Museum.
After civil war broke out in neighboring Syria, authorities have stepped up efforts to prevent the smuggling and sale of artifacts from the country which lapsed into a state of lawlessness. The government has issued a list of artifacts believed to be stolen from Syria and warned customs agents, collectors and others against their sale.