A Turkish professor has been caught raiding a local cemetery with three accomplices in search of treasure they believed was buried there.
The incident took place at the cemetery in the neighbourhood of Sihlar in the district of Bolvadin in the Turkish province of Afyonkarahisar on 10th March.
Security guards on patrol noticed the suspects and gave chase when they tried to flee the cemetery.
The suspect has been named as University Professor Mevlut Gullu, and he was allegedly caught on cemetery grounds while an accomplice identified by his initials M.S. was detained in a nearby private garden.
The security guards determined that the suspects were using a pick and shovel to dig beneath a tree positioned between two graves.
After being taken into custody, the two suspects admitted that they were with two other men, identified as H.B. and M.A.D., who were promptly arrested in their homes.
According to local reports, Gullu, age not disclosed, is a professor of the Geodesy Department at Afyon Kocatepe University.
He told the police that they were unable to find any loot during their excavation and that he was only there to determine the exact location.
He is quoted as telling the police: “I just went there to determine the location on the phone of the people carrying out the cemetery dig. I wasn’t going to join them.
“After digging for a while, they realised they could not find anything and started to fill the hole with earth. That’s when we got caught.”
Local media said the cemetery holds many graves of Turkish soldiers who lost their lives during the War of Independence and is a Grade 1 Protected Area.
Judicial proceedings were initiated against the suspects for the crimes of ‘excavating without permission and damaging a protected area’.
It is unclear whether the university has launched an investigation into the professor, and what sanctions the suspects will face if found guilty.
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Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Joe Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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