Turkish security forces seized 496 historical artifacts during an anti-smuggling operation in Turkey’s western province Izmir on Wednesday.
Police from the Anti-Smuggling Branch of the Izmir Security Directorate received a tip-off that the suspect, identified as A.Ö., would sell the artifacts, and acted upon the information.
Among the confiscated artifacts were more than 400 coins in various sizes, 10 bronze arrow heads, three bronze rings and five metal objects.
The suspect was detained to be questioned.
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.