FILE PHOTO: Turkish Police

Turkish Police have seized more than 26,450 ancient artefacts from numerous Middle Eastern civilisations in a massive sweep which also netted 13 smugglers.

The artefacts include coins, jewellery, stone art and small figurines, hailing from Roman, Byzantium, Ottoman and other cultures, according to images broadcast on Thursday by Haberturk television.

The raids took place in five separate locations and are being seen as one of the largest such crackdowns ever in the country.

Turkey has recently stepped up efforts to stop smuggling.

Armed groups in Syria and Iraq, in particular, Islamic State, had profited off smuggling such artefacts out of war zones through Turkey.