Villagers suspect ‘theft’ after 300-year-old bridge disappears

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A 300-year-old stone bridge on a creek located in Turkey’s northeastern province of Gümüşhane was noticed to have vanished on Friday by villagers who now suspect it was stolen, the Artıgerçek news website reported on Sunday.

An investigation has been launched into the disappearance of the historic bridge from which only a few pieces of stone remain.

Local residents who reported the disappearance stated that they had last seen the bridge intact on Monday.

The heavy rainfall received in the area Wednesday and Thursday is not believed by the villagers to have led to an overflow powerful enough to destroy the bridge and drag it away.

Coşkun Doğan, the village headman, agreed with the claims of theft, saying: “Even if the bridge somehow fell apart, there’s no way the creek swept the stones away. They were probably taken by someone.”

Another villager who was interviewed said: “The bridge is 300 years old. Nothing has happened to it over the last 300 years. The creek doesn’t even have the water flow to turn a mill wheel. Even if the bridge was destroyed, the stones would be around. There are no stones. Somebody stole the bridge.”

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