sphinx (links to original article)
Minister of Culture Ertuğrul Günay has issued a 'sphinx ultimatum' to
German officials by means of an interview he gave to the German
Günay said that archeologic excavation permits given to Germans for
work at Hattuşaş, the capital of the Hittite civilization, and other places
could be canceled if there is no progress regarding the return of the
sphinx, which was found during an excavation at Hattuşaş and brought
to Germany for restoration at the beginning of the 20th century. The
sphinx is currently in a museum in Berlin.
Günay added that 'new universities and archeologic institutes have been
founded in Turkey, we have enthusiastic and successful archeologists.
If we can't establish cooperation on this matter as we would like then
we have no hesitation in giving permits for these excavations to our own
In a statement officials of the German Foreign Ministry made to AFP
they said that talks are underway between German and Turkish experts
regarding the return of the sphinx in the first half of this year.