Skip to main content

Turkey recovers 1,100-year-old Hebrew Bible in smuggling raids

The 28-page leather-bound collection of papyrus scripture was seized during Turkey's latest smuggling crackdown in Istanbul.
JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

ANKARA — An ancient Hebrew Bible and more than 100 Roman coins were recovered by Turkish military police as Turkey's efforts to contain smuggling continue.

Military police seized the manuscript and 101 late Roman-Byzantine coins during an anti-smuggling operation in Istanbul on Sunday, authorities confirmed to Al-Monitor on Tuesday. Four people were detained during the raids.

The coins were taken to the city’s archeology museum, according to authorities. The 28-page leather-bound papyrus scripture, which is thought to be 1,100 years old, was handed over to country’s Culture Ministry.

An official from the Culture Ministry told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that an inspection of the manuscript was underway and that it wasn’t immediately clear whether text was written in ancient Hebrew or Aramaic, which can look similar.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.

Subscribe

Only $100 for annual access.