Today there are many Turkish historical monuments and buildings abroad. Most of these monuments and buildings are located in the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa which constitute a part of the cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire and serve today as a bridge between Turkey and the countries concerned. Turkey cooperates with the countries concerned for their protection.
Turkey is the cradle of many civilizations. Consequently Turkey is one of the countries in the world rich in historical monuments, antiques and ruins. This makes Turkey the target of illegal trafficking of cultural heritage. Ceramics, china and pottery, clay tablets, coins, jewels, mausolea, monuments, statues smuggled out of Turkey are today exhibited in several leading museums and private collections in the world. The Temple of Pergamum and the Treasures of Troia are few of Turkey’s smuggled historical treasures. Pursuant to the initiatives taken by the competent Turkish authorities, restitution of some of the smuggled historical heritage to Turkey has been possible.
Smuggling historical heritage out of Turkey is subject to prosecution.