Turkish security forces have seized an ancient gilded Bible along with an edict bearing Hebrew scripts in an anti-smuggling operation in southeastern Turkey's Diyarbakır province, the governor's office said in a statement Saturday.
The provincial gendarmerie forces found out through investigations that four suspects were planning to illegally sell a book estimated to be 800-years-old. The suspects were caught red-handed during the operation conducted in Yenişehir district on Sept. 12, the statement said.
The Bible confiscated in the operation was 30-pages and had a leather cover.
A probe was launched into six suspects in connection with the smuggling incident.
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.