türkçe links to original Turkish article
(HaberTürk Newspaper, 9 January 2017)
Not exactly The Temple of Doom, but it'll do.
In the 82 Evler neighborhood in Tarsus district of Mersin province,
an excavation that began on 13 November 2016 is continuing. About
two months ago a special team came from Ankara. The 20-person
team is working under the protection of the Special Operations police
and is using special technology.
The excavation is being dug in secret in the common courtyard of
four 'gecekondu' (ramshackle) homes. It is said that the depth of the
hole is 30 meters and its width is tens of meters. Observers at the site,
access to which is being strictly controlled, say that valuable historical
items are being extracted, put into black bags and taken to an undisclosed
The most mysterious aspect of the excavation, though, is its connection
to the murder of policeman Mithat Erdal, who was killed in 2012 after
filing a tip about 'illegal historic treasure hunting'. Erdal's wife wrote
a letter to the office of the president about her husband's case and
as a result the excavation was renewed. It is claimed that 3 of the four
houses around the excavation site were rented to people who have been
taken into custody for illegal treasure hunting and the fourth house had
been rented by Mithat Erdal.
The late Mithat Erdal and Sibel Erdal.
In the meantime, CHP Parliamentarian from Mersin, Aytuğ Atıcı, went
to the site and wanted to see the excavation. Atıcı was met by plain
clothes police at the head of the street and obtained information
from the officials at the site. According to Atıcı, "the officials told
me that I could not enter the site because of the secrecy decision. They
said that there had been previous excavations here and murders because
of it. Historical items are being recovered and they will provide more
information in about 10 days."
Erdal's wife Sibel said that her husband was killed after providing
officials with a report based on his investigation of a treasure hunting
gang. She said that the police chief and the contraband office leader had
quashed the investigation into her husband's murder, prompting her to
write to the office of the president. So, after 4 years, the case has been
reopened and the excavation has resumed to find evidence in the
courtyard between the four 'gecekondu' houses.
Tarsus district is in far eastern Mersin province.