Middle East

Turkiye denies return of inscription to Israel found in Jerusalem

Artifact found during Ottoman period in 1880 in East Jerusalem, currently preserved at Istanbul Archaeological Museum

Turgut Alp Boyraz   | 14.03.2022
Turkiye denies return of inscription to Israel found in Jerusalem


Turkiye denied the claims that an ancient inscription found in East Jerusalem and brought to Istanbul during the Ottoman period will be delivered to Israel, according to the diplomatic sources on Sunday. 

The Times of Israel news website on Friday reported that Turkiye had agreed to return the 2,700-year-old Siloam inscription to Israel as a gesture during Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Ankara, the first in years.

Preserved at Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the inscription is known as one of the oldest and most important Hebrew inscriptions in existence.  

Stating that East Jerusalem, where the inscription was found in 1880, was a part of the Ottoman Empire then and is the part of Palestine now, the Turkish diplomatic sources said that claims that the historical artefact in question would be given to Israel were not reflecting the truth.

According to the Israeli news reports, Tel Aviv had repeatedly sought the return of the artefact in the past but had always been rejected.

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