AYDIN, Turkey

Some 155 historical artifacts seized during a police raid in the Aegean province of Aydin will be displayed in a museum, said an official on Wednesday.

The historical artifacts including statues, oil lamps and rings plus 2,300 ancient coins were seized in the Nazilli district on July 24 and handed over to Aphrodisias Museum in Aydin.

Umut Tuncer, the provincial director of culture and tourism, told Anadolu Agency that most of the delivered artifacts were genuine and that the analysis process continues for others.

Noting that the police operation was one of the biggest operations in Aydin in terms of quality, Tuncer said:

“The artifacts are from various periods. We found that there are fragments from the Hellenistic, Roman and Ottoman periods.”

Tuncer said that as the analysis process deepens, more detailed information will be provided.

“We found that one of the coins belonged to the Mehmed II [the Ottoman sultan who conquered Istanbul] period. This was a piece that was never before in our inventory,” he added.

Tuncer called on the Turkish public for support in the fight against the smuggling of historical artifacts: “The commission we set up prices the historical artifacts and this money is given to the person who finds it.”

“Accordingly, we want the citizens to hand over the artifacts they find to our museum or law enforcement agencies.”

*Writing by Handan Kazanci

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