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History for Sale:
Daesh Selling Looted Artifacts in Turkish Markets

(SputnikNews) ~ The Islamic State (ISIL, ISIS or Daesh) jihadist group generates up to $200 million in annual profits from around 100,000 cultural objects it controls in Iraq and Syria selling them through the Turkish city of Gaziantep, the Russian permanent representative to the UN said in a letter to the UN Security Council presidency.

“The main centre for the smuggling of cultural heritage items is the Turkish city of Gaziantep, where the stolen goods are sold at illegal auctions and then through a network of antique shops and at the local market,” Vitaly Churkin’s letter states.

The letter asserts that artifacts including jewelry and coins are delivered by Turkish transport companies, sold in shops opened on the Turkish-Syrian border, and then arrive in Izmir, Mersin and Antalya where documents are forged to hide their origins.

Daesh’ smuggling operations are said to be organized by its antiquities department, part of the caliphate’s so-called ministry for control of natural resources, under the leadership of Abu Sayyaf Iraqi.

Excavations at and transportation from around 4,500 archaeological sites, nine of which are in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List, are permitted only to those in possession of a stamp and signature from the department, according to the letter.

The disclosures come after the RT broadcaster uncovering a trove of documents last week revealing details of Daesh’ illicit trade in looted antiquities with Turkey through the so-called ministry’s department of artifacts. Two weeks ago, the broadcaster documented further proof of the terrorist group’s fighters enjoying unrestricted travel across the border and selling oil to Turkey.

Ankara officially denies having links to the IS, a group outlawed in multiple countries including Russia.



Vitaly Churkin: “Turkey has the largest center
for selling the looted antiques from Syria”

(New York, SANA) ~ Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that the Turkish city of Gaziantep is the main center for selling relics looted by the ISIS terrorist organization in Syria.

ISIS terrorist organization illegitimate revenues of the looted relics reach at nearly 200 million USD per a year, Churkin said in a letter sent to the UN, adding that that antiques and artifacts are mainly smuggled from Syria and Iraq to the outside through Turkey’s city of Gaziantep in the south.

“Those pieces of antiques are sold through auctions illegally on websites and through local markets,” Churkin added.

He affirmed that around 100,000 of the world’s archeological sites are under the grip of ISIS, 9 of which are classified within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

Sputnik News
SANA, Manar/Mazen
Submitted by Cem Ertür 
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