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Turkey seizes Israeli citizen for artifact smuggling

The Israeli, a resident of Acre, says he bought the decorative bell Turkey claims is an ancient historical artifact at a local market.

A view of the main bazaar in the city of Antalya, March 21, 2008. Photo by Kobi Gideon/Flash90.
A view of the main bazaar in the city of Antalya, March 21, 2008. Photo by Kobi Gideon/Flash90.

Turkey has detained an Israeli citizen for more than a week after he was arrested at the airport in Antalya for attempting to smuggle out a historical artifact.

The Israeli, a resident of Acre, was arrested on Aug. 6 after a decorative bell was found in his backpack, Ynet reported.

The Turks claim the bell is an ancient historical item. His family said that he bought it in a market.

“We need the help of the most senior officials in the country to step in and help us,” his son Shlomi told Ynet. “My father is an elderly man with medical problems and is in bad condition. He wants to go home and is under intense mental pressure.”

Last month, three Israeli men were held in a remote Turkish prison for more than a week after a flight attendant accused them of sexual harassment.

They were released on July 5.

According to the family of one of the men, who was identified as David Shsoshkov, 30, from Sderot, six more Israelis were also arrested, but were released following several hours of questioning.

In 2021, an Israeli couple were detained by Turkish security forces on espionage charges for photographing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s residence.

They were returned to Israel following intense diplomatic efforts by the Israeli government began to secure their release.

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