Turkish police have announced the discovery of two Bibles that date back 500 years. The texts were unearthed as part of an anti-smuggling operation in the northwestern province of Edirne.
According to the Edirne Governor’s Office, officers involved in the seizure reported finding the two bibles in a shoebox in a car which was driving towards the Greek border in the district of Uzunköprü. The police reclaimed the Bibles before delivering them to the Edirne Museum Directorate. Three suspects were arrested. The Turkish authorities dedicate vast resources to anti-smuggling operations in a bid to stem the flow of precious ancient artefacts being bought and sold on the black market.
This is not the first time - at the beginning of last year, police seized a 1,200-year-old Bible in the southeastern Diyarbakir province. The priceless text was written across 34 pages of leather and contained gold-encrusted religious motifs along with a cross and a Star of David. The authorities believe it could have been stolen from somewhere in Syria and smuggled across the border. The book was only found after the suspects were caught attempting to find a buyer in a shoe store. Six people were arrested in connection with the theft. Officials later delivered it to a local university for examination by archaeologists.
Similarly, in 2015, a stunning, 1,000-year-old leaf Bible was discovered in Turkey, complete with images of Christ crafted out of gold leaves. The entire text was written in the ancient Assyrian language.