An extremely rare edition of the Bible, thought to be around 1,200 years old, has been recovered from an antique smuggling network in Turkey after the smugglers were caught by the Turkish anti-smuggling patrol, who had been deployed by the Government in a providence located in the south-east of the country.
The book’s scripture is spread over 34 pages and is bound in leather with gold-encrusted religious iconography. On the front is a golden crucifix and the back features the Star of David. Though in fragile condition, the book was successfully recovered intact and will undergo examination from experts.
Hurriyet Daily News, a Turkish news outet reported: “An anti-smuggling team on Feb. 4 seized the Bible, said to be only 34 pages long, with gold lettering on leather, in the city of Kayapınar, said the southeastern Diyarbakır governorship in a statement.” In a bust that was caught on tape, the police apprehended a total of six suspects, three of whom were trying to sell it in a shoe store.
This rare bible is one of many artifacts that have been carried through Turkish smuggling networks. Many of these rare items are taken Turkey’s war-torn neighbor, Syria. It is unknown who the Bible’s original owner is, though it may have been stored in a church.
As a notable country situated between Asia and Europe, many goods from Syria, Libya, and Iraq are being smuggled through the region. Turkey is trying to combat the networks by deploying anti-smuggling teams and by making the public aware of what items have gene missing, making them harder for smugglers to sell.
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