Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said on Thursday that the ministry has received a copy of the Bible from the Ankara courthouse which dates back to 1,500 years ago and is thought to have been written in Aramaic.
According to a report by National Turk, the Bible was seized from a gang of smugglers in a Mediterranean-area operation. The report states the gang was charged with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations, and the possession of explosives.
Turkish authorities stated that the bible is a cultural asset and should be protected, as it is priceless and belongs in a museum.
The Turkish media reports also said on Thursday that the Vatican has requested that Turkey allow it to examine the 1,500-year-old Bible; however, the Vatican Embassy in Ankara denied the reports on Thursday suggesting that the Vatican had asked Turkey to examine the copy of Bible in Ankara.
Some media reports also said the copy of the Bible in Ankara may be a copy of the much-debated Gospel of Barnabas, which Muslims claim is an original gospel that was later suppressed; the oldest copies of this gospel date back to the 16th century and are written in Italian and Spanish.
However, the majority of Christian and Muslim academics suggest that it is probably a fraud and that we may have seen this Bible before.