The teams acted after a tip-off that radioactive substances had been brought into Turkey from Georgia by means of a car with a German license plate. Security officials located that vehicle and followed it to Ankara's Yenimahalle district.
Upon searching the car, they found a total of 500 grams of Cesium-137 in two glass tubes as well as an unlicensed gun and 18 coins thought to have historical value. Three people in the car, all of them Turkish nationals living in Germany, were detained. Sources said they all had prior charges related to smuggling on their criminal records.
Cesium-137, the most common radioactive form of the metal cesium, is commonly used for the treatment of cancer and in a variety of gauges in the construction and drilling industries, but it can be used in nuclear weapon production as well. The half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years.