A Belgian tourist who wanted to take home some pretty rocks found on the ground in Turkey will now face ten years in prison after being accused of stealing archaeological objects.
“Finally, I was able to speak to the judge. He told me that I was suspected of smuggling archaeological stones. I have to wait for my trial. […] We don’t know when it will take place,” Belgian tourist Kim, 28, reported last week, according to 7sur7.
Since September 16, the 28-year-old woman has reportedly been facing a “ban on leaving the territory” in Turkey, while awaiting her trial for having attempted to bring back stones, which she allegedly found in a deserted alley in Manavgat during her five-day stay with her partner Warre, 21, she would have indicated to the Belgian media.
It was while preparing to leave the country that customs officers asked her to open her bag, revealing the stones picked up on the ground, which she simply wanted to put in her aquarium.
However, according to a report from the Antalya museum which examined the stones, one of the pieces “stamped with two engraved rosettes” would be “a piece of architectural decoration”, continued 7sur7.
If Warre would have been able to return to Belgium, he would be dying for his partner taken in the country, to whom the lawyer would have indicated that the trial could not take place until next December. In the meantime, she would live at her own expense in accommodation in Antalya.
On its website, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs would however specify that “the export of cultural goods and antiquities is severely regulated and punished in the event of fraud in Turkey (prison sentences, heavy fines). The notion of antiquity is interpreted very broadly by Turkish law,” reported “Ouest-France,” according to BFMTV.