Authorities in the southeastern Turkish city of Mardin have seized millennium-old gold-embroidered Jewish books that were illegally imported into the country.
According to Republic World, the Mardin Provincial Police Department posted a video on Facebook that showed books featuring animal drawings, including an owl, deer, scorpion and bull, next to Hebrew inscriptions.
The four books and a scroll were said to be prayer books and a Torah.
Mardin police said that the four books and the Torah were illegally smuggled into Turkey. Legal proceedings have begun against the suspected smugglers.
The Star of David is on the cover of the books and the case in which one was housed. One of the books also has a menorah on its cover.
Reports said that the recovered books were stolen from the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Damascus' Jobar neighborhood, after which they were sneaked into Turkey by the Syrian rebel group al-Rahman Legion.
Residents of Jobar reportedly had asked the militia to return the books, as well as other antiquities the group had taken. The group denied seizing the items.
Police found the books in a plastic bag that was in the pockets of an empty canvas bag. According to the Jerusalem Post, the ancient Torah – in an antique case – was rescued by police wearing gloves because of its frailness due to age.