A Turkish government official says authorities at Istanbul's main airport have detained two people suspected of attempting to smuggle 148 blank European passports concealed in pizza-making equipment.

The official said Friday that the passports, seized at Ataturk Airport earlier this week, were originals. Most were French passports but also included passports from Germany, Britain and Ireland.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, says one suspect is a Turkish-born Belgian citizen who had previously been detained over links to Kurdish rebels. The second suspect is Syrian.

The official says investigators are trying to determine how the documents were obtained and how they were intended to be used.