A mysterious monolith, or metal slab, that recently popped up in southeastern Turkey's Sanliurfa province has now disappeared.
The 3-meter-tall (9.8-foot) metal pillar was found on Feb. 5 in the middle of an empty field in Gobeklitepe, home to the world’s oldest temple site. Locals on Tuesday noticed it was not there anymore.
The block was carved with words in Gokturk, the Old Turkic script, which means, "Look at the sky if you want to see the moon."
When it first appeared at the historic site, many citizens visited the site to see the metal pillar, residents of the neighborhood said they are afraid, and expect the officials to find more about it.
It is still not known who installed, and then removed the monolith.
Fuat Demirdil, the owner of the field where the monolith was placed, said it was installed on his land by unidentified people.
Noting that the purpose of installing the monolith is still unknown, he said: “We do not know if the metal block was put on my field for publicity or advertisement purposes. We saw that the metal block was not in its place this morning.”
He added that the citizens cannot solve the mystery of the block.
A resident in the neighborhood, Hasan Yildiz, said the monolith was in its place at night but was gone in the morning.
Yildiz said: “We presume the metal block was installed for advertising purposes. Thanks to it, our neighborhood gained some publicity.”
Another local, Ahmet Kacar said the neighborhood gained publicity after the monolith was installed on the field.
“Nobody knows what the metal block is. No official has information about it. Everyone has been puzzled with curiosity since the first day. Our governor also visited the place to investigate.
“As the locals of the neighborhood, we do not know if it was installed for advertisement, but it has been beneficial for the promotion of our region. Actually, we are glad about the attention; but it was taken away this morning,” he added.
*Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara
Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.