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Turkey arrests dozens in countrywide artifacts smuggling raid

Smuggling of historical artifacts is an issue in the Middle East, and European states have returned objects to Egypt and Iraq recently.
A Turkish police officer points to historical artifacts after police confiscated thousands of historical artifacts in a giant operation against smugglers in Istanbul.

Turkish authorities arrested dozens of people on Tuesday for alleged artifact smuggling.

At least 78 were arrested among 93 suspects across 30 provinces in Turkey. Security forces seized 9,276 illegally excavated artifacts in addition to detectors, firearms and cash in both US dollars and euros. Other artifacts were sold to American and European auction houses, sometimes using fake ownership documents, the official Anadolu Agency reported.

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