With its rich history and home to a wide array of civilizations, Turkey is popular among foreign archeologists as well as smugglers seeking to steal artifacts. Striving to encourage more Turks to take up archaeology jobs, the Culture and Tourism Ministry has ordered foreign archaeological excavation delegations to include more Turks in their teams.
The Hürriyet newspaper reported that the ministry asked all foreign delegations working across Turkey to recruit at least 51 percent of Turkish nationals on their teams, including archeologists to anthropology and restoration experts. Currently, 32 delegations from around the world work on Turkish archeological sites.
Foreign delegations are required to have a Turkish official observing the site while other Turks on the sites are usually workers. The country recently mandated that the deputy leader of archaeological delegations be a Turkish national. Speaking to Hürriyet, the ministry officials noted that the new quota was required for the "progress of Turkish archaeology," as well as for employment options for those graduating in archaeology studies at universities.