By Orhan Onur Gemici
Police caught a suspected smuggler in capital Ankara on Tuesday who was preparing to sell an Ottoman-era celestial sphere bearing multi-lingual markings.
Anti-smuggling teams recovered the artifact, thought to be used for fortune-telling, in the suspect’s residence before its sale for $1 million, said police sources.
Investigators also found 28 Ottoman coins to be delivered to museum officials along with the sphere.
The sphere -- determined to be made of tin -- bore images of humans and animals and script in Arabic and Persian as well as other unknown tongues, along with astrological representations of heavenly bodies.
One line written in Arabic said: "The ship gives succor in the depth of the sea; the favor is with the air; thankfully, the current pulls the ship; favored affairs are those for which thanks ought