A Turkish TV channel has aired a broadcast explaining to viewers how to hunt for gold belonging to the Armenians and other ethnic groups that used to reside on the country’s territory.Ughur Kilach, the special guest hosted by Haberturk TV, elaborated on “the right and efficient methods” of exploring for gold with the help of a detector. The man is reported to have formerly owned a company selling the device.
The broadcast sparked a wide outrage across the country, attracting a strong criticism by numerous users of social networking sites, according to Agos (the Istanbul-based Armenian publication).Soner Ateshoghulari, the president of the Turkish Union of Archaeologists, condemned the authors in an official statement, describing the move as an attempt to push people to stealing treasure.
He also called for banning detectors’ sale in Turkey and tighten the punishment against treasure thieves.
“Those people are representatives of different ethnic groups and have very different specializations. But they all pursue the single goal of hunting for gold to arrange their lives and pay their debts, building the lives of also their own children. Unlicensed excavations are banned in Turkey, but we have no law banning the search of gold. To conduct legal excavations it is required to have specific proofs that there is actually treasure hiding there, and to obtain a certificate licensing such excavations. This is how we need to educate treasure-hunters in order to rule out this kind of problems in the future. Otherwise, there will be no end to illegal excavations and damages to cultural monuments. If the state exercises this function, [those breaching the law] will face the heaviest punishment,” reads Ateshoghulari’s statement on the Union’s website.