Three Turks Arrested for Smuggling Rare Copy of Quran

Published May 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Turkish Cypriot police said they arrested three Turkish men Sunday at Nicosia airport for trying to smuggle a rare stolen copy of the Quran, reported  

The handwritten and gold-embroidered book, which dates back to the 11th century was stolen from Istanbul's Topkapi Palace last September.  

Police, who recovered the treasure, believe it was being taken to Britain to be delivered to a company, which markets historic artifacts, said BBC.  

Historians said the book is priceless as an historical artifact but it is believed it would fetch around $50,000 on the black market, said BBC.  

Turkish chief inspector Salim Aker told the BBC that one of the men was arrested as he tried to board a plane for Britain following a tip off.  

Two other men, who allegedly stole the Quran from Topkapi, were also detained.  

Topkapi Palace, which overlooks the bustling Phosphorus Strait and the Golden Horn, was home to the Ottoman sultans and their court from the mid-15th century to the mid-19th century.  

The palace has an extensive collection of Qurans and text dating back to the 9th century, BBC added - 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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