1,200-Year-Old Bible Seized During Raid in Diyarbakir, Turkey

By Nancy Flory Published on February 7, 2019

Turkish authorities have seized a Bible thought to be 1,200 years old during a raid in Diyarbakir Monday.

According to the Turkish news site Daily Sabah, authorities had received word that someone wanted to sell an ancient leather Bible with gold lettering. Pictures show the Bible decorated with both a cross and a star of David.

Security forces caught the suspects trying to sell the 34-page Bible. They detained six suspects connected to the attempted illegal sale.

Diyarbakir is near the Syrian border. It is not known if the Bible was smuggled into Turkey from Syria, although it could have been. Turkey has become the “primary destination” for those smuggling ancient artifacts from Syria. Turkish authorities have doubled down on efforts to stop smuggling and illegal sales of these artifacts. The government warned customs agents and collectors regarding historical artifacts that were stolen from Syria. 

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The historical heritage of the country draws millions of tourists annually. Anti-smuggling raids are carried out each year help protect the heritage and tourism dollars that the country needs.

Watch the raid:

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