Turkish security forces seized 500-year-old manuscripts in an anti-smuggling operation in the capital Ankara Thursday.
The anti-smuggling branch of the Ankara Security Directorate detected the suspect identified as B.E.S. when he tried to sell the Ottoman-era manuscripts to undercover police officers online.
Police caught the suspect by arranging a meeting on the pretense of purchasing the ancient books.
The suspect demanded 200,000 Turkish liras ($33,671) for the manuscripts before he was detained.
Museum officials revealed that the seized manuscripts are from the reign of Ottoman Sultan Süleyman I, also known as Süleyman the Magnificent.
The manuscripts were delivered to a museum for further examination.
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.
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