NEWS EXTRA: 1,200-year-old Bible found in South-eastern Turkey

A 1,200-year-old Bible was found during an anti-smuggling operation in South-eastern Turkey, the Governor’s Office said on Tuesday.

Three suspects were nabbed while trying to sell the ancient book on Monday in the district of Kayapinar, the Diyarbakir governor’s office said in a statement.

The Bible has a total of 34 pages embossed with gold.

Six suspects have been taken into custody, the governor’s office said, but failed to provide further details.

The Anatolian heartland is home to numerous holy sites revered by Christians and Turkish authorities have recently been clamping down on the attempted smuggling of ancient arte-facts.

In Turkey’s cultural capital of Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia a landmark is a former Eastern Orthodox Church which was once the largest in Christendom.

It was converted to a mosque in 1453 by the Turks and into a museum in 1935.

Christians form a small minority in the predominantly Muslim population of Turkey, a country of 82 million people. (dpa/NAN)