The Culture and Tourism Ministry is preparing to raise the number of Turkish archaeologists in excavations. Under planned regulations, excavation teams will be required to demonstrate staffing levels that are at least 90 percent composed of Turkish citizens.
Ministry officials said Turkey hosts about 150 excavations every year to uncover the country's cultural wealth and that only 10 percent of excavation teams will consist of foreign-born world-renowned archaeologists. The ministry will also increase funds for the promotion of excavated areas.
With its rich history and home to a wide array of civilizations, Turkey is popular among foreign archaeologists - as well as smugglers seeking to steal artifacts.
Currently, 32 delegations from around the world work on Turkish archaeological 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.