Ankara, The Gulf Observer: At least 41 historical artefacts of Anatolian origin illegally taken out of Türkiye are being returned to the country from the US.
According to the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, new additions have been made to the cultural assets that have been returned to Türkiye since 2021, with the cooperation and joint efforts over the past five years between the ministry and the US Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Türkiye’s Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Gokhan Yazgi and an accompanying delegation received the artefacts at the Turkish House in New York.
At the handover ceremony, Yazgi said that a “hard-working and dedicated team” within the relevant institutions of the two countries has been in constant contact for five years to prevent the smuggling of cultural assets.
“This team both corrects the mistakes made in time by ensuring the return of artefacts that were smuggled out of the country illegally and contributes positively to the international image of the US in this field,” he said.
Reyhan Ozgur, the Turkish Consul General in New York, also expressed his gratitude to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, saying: “The return of these smuggled historical artefacts symbolises the importance of correcting the mistakes made in the past.”
Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, for his part, said on X: “We have received at the Turkish House in New York another group of our artefacts which were illegally taken from our country.”
“As a result of successful collaboration with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security’s investigation unit, a total of 41 cultural assets, including bronze heads, busts and silver figurines, are returning home,” he said.
The total number of artefacts returned to Türkiye has reached 30,059, he added.
The artworks are planned to be brought to Türkiye at the end of the month.