The historical Book of Esther, stolen by Israel’s rescue team from Antakya, returned to Turkey

The theft of a historical manuscript by the Israeli rescue team dispatched to Turkey to help those affected by the earthquake sparked an ethical scandal after pictures and videos showed the team members displaying the stolen manuscript.

The Turkish “Haber7” website said it turned out that the Israeli search and rescue team secretly took the Book of Esther from Turkey’s earthquake-damaged Antakya Synagogue in Hatay province before the theft was discovered and the manuscript returned to Turkey.

The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism confirmed yesterday that the Anti-Smuggling Department has begun an investigation into this case and that it will be dealt with in coordination with the Turkish Foreign Ministry after which the appropriate decisions will be taken.

It stressed in a series of tweets on its official Twitter account that it is committed to preserving the heritage manuscripts of all cultures and religions.

The Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, last week published a news item confirming that the Israeli search and rescue team dispatched to Turkey after the earthquakes had moved the historical Esther scrolls recovered from the Antakya synagogue to Israel.

It published pictures of a man it said was a member of the Israeli team holding the scrolls.

Source: Palestine News & Info Agency