The couple had packed a few stones in their suitcase as they prepared to leave Turkey. They apparently intended to place these stones in their aquarium. Turkish customs officers arrested them at the airport.
Turkish customs found holiday souvenirs in the Belgian couple’s suitcase. They reportedly collected stones as souvenirs during a day trip to Manavgat (73 km east of Antalya). The couple was unable to leave until the authorities had the stones examined by the Antalya museum.
The stones had a certain value
According to the authorities, one of the stones is an “architectural decorative element”, the other two are pieces of marble from floor coverings. Turkish law on the protection of cultural and natural resources strictly prohibits the seizure of such objects; smuggling is punishable.
Turkish Foreign Ministry expressly warns tourists
It is strictly prohibited to export from Turkey “antiques, minerals or objects found there (for example stones), even if they have no cultural and historical value”.
The couple was stopped at the airport, arrested and taken to court