A Belgian tourist who wanted to bring home pretty stones found on the ground in Turkey is now facing ten years in prison on charges of stealing archaeological objects.
“I finally got to talk 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,” 28-year-old Belgian tourist Kim reported last week, according to 7sur7.
Since September 16, the 28-year-old has been facing an “exit ban” in Turkey while she awaits trial for trying to bring back stones she allegedly found in a deserted alley in Manavgat during her five years She had hinted to the Belgian media that she would have stayed for a day with her partner Warre, 21.
As she prepared to leave the country, customs officials asked her to open her bag. This revealed the stones she had 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 “featured with two engraved rosettes” was “a piece of architectural decoration,” 7sur7 continued.
If Warre had been able to return to Belgium, he would have died for his partner who had been brought into the country and was told by the lawyer that the trial could not take place until next December. In the meantime, she would live in accommodation in Antalya at her own expense.
However, on its website, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs states that “the export of cultural goods and antiques in Turkey is strictly regulated and punished in case of fraud (prison sentences, heavy fines). “The concept of antiquity is interpreted very broadly in Turkish law,” reported “Ouest-France” according to BFMTV.