Tourists In Trouble. Belgian couple sentenced for stealing sacred stones

Kim Mergitis Credit: Sky News Screenshot

BELGIAN tourists Kim and Warre Mergits, who were first convicted on holiday in Turkey for possessing three sacred stones and attempting to remove them from the country, have finally returned home to Belgium. 

The Belgian couple, who decided to venture to Turkey for a vacation, were first detained at Antalya Airport on September 16 upon suspicion of having three stones wrapped in clothes and bags found in their suitcases. These sacred stones were then examined by the Antalya Museum Directorate and it was determined that they belonged to the Roman period. The couple were then released but with judicial control, and were banned from leaving the country. 

The prosecutor’s office prepared an indictment against Mergits, one of the couple, for “opposition to the law on the protection of cultural and natural heritage.” In this indictment that was accepted by the court, she was demanded to be sentenced to imprisonment up to 12 years and a fine of up to 500,000 Turkish Liras in accordance with the law.

Last week the couple were both finally released and returned to their country. However, bad news was to follow, as in the final hearing, that was held on November 30 at the criminal court, the defendants were sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and a judicial fine, that is to still be determined, for possession of historical artefacts. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Jennifer Popplewell

Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.