Turkish police intercept sale of ancient Torah scroll

(JTA) — Police in Turkey arrested four people who allegedly attempted to sell an ancient Torah scroll, Turkish media reported.

The private broadcaster NTV reported that the Torah scroll was made of leather and its sellers claimed it was nearly 2,000 years old. The suspects, who were identified only by their initials, were arrested in the Mediterranean province of Adana, the report said.

The oldest known complete version of the Torah is the Leningrad Codex, which dates back to the early 11th century CE. Few existing Torah scrolls are older than 500 years, according to the Times of Israel.

One of the suspects reportedly said he and the others came to possess the scroll after buying it from an antique store. He said they brought the scroll to a geography teacher to ask what was written in it.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident and sent the scroll for inspection, NTV reported.

Help us tell the Jewish story with reporting from around the world. Please donate to JTA.

Click to write a letter to the editor.