Expert talks about Turkey's looting Syrian antiquities: they distort Syrian history

Archeology expert, Abdul Wahab Sheikho confirmed that Turkey and its mercenaries are looting the Syrian antiquities in the occupied areas with the aim of obliterating the cultural and civilized identity of the region, without regard to its heritage and value.

The series of Turkish crimes continues in the occupied regions in northeast Syria, and perhaps the most dangerous ones is Turkey's permanent attempts to change the region’s demography.

Information about the theft and improper excavation of antiquities is coming almost daily from the occupied territories, starting from Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) to Girê Spî (Tal Abyad) and Afrin without regard to its moral and cultural values.

Although the international community meets around the Hague Convention signed on May 14, 1954, to protect cultural property in the event of armed conflict, the operations of looting antiquities and damaging archaeological sites are repeated in the Turkish occupation areas, without any move from the international community.

On this subject, Abdul Wahab Sheikho, an antiquities expert at the Antiquities Directorate in Manbij, says that "the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries are trying to obliterate the identity and cultural heritage of the region by bulldozing antiquities."

 Sheikho stresses that antiquities are an important source of recorded history, through inscriptions and writings.

The expert explains that the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries distort the Syrian history by selling Syrian antiquities on the black market to become a commodity, while they are basically evidence of patrimony and ancient civilizations.

The Antiquities Directorate in Afrin canton said in a statement, on November 11th, that “the Turkish occupation and mercenary groups continue to destroy and sabotage archaeological sites and hills and loot their contents and smuggle them out of Syria in light of the media blackout and international silence, which has exacerbated the situation inside Afrin canton and continues in committing the violations in a systematic and continuous manner, no archaeological site remained that was subject to vandalism, "stressing the difficulty of obtaining documents to document them, especially since the city of Afrin is closed to the world from the inside and outside.

The directorate’s statement came after getting information about the archaeological exposure of Tal Kalakh to almost complete looting and destruction, which coincides with excavation and bulldozing of archaeological sites in the vicinity of the city of Girê Spî / Tal Abyad, which Turkey occupied more than a year ago.



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