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Friday, 01 April 2016 10:38

Pebble stealing - amnesty for 'souvenir' pebbles and stones

Stones Stones

Following recent incidents in Antalya province, the Turkish authorities are taking steps to raise awareness of the issue of removing stones and pebbles from local beaches.  One initiative is an amnesty to encourage people to return items that have been illegally removed from beaches.

In fact removing pebbles and stones from beaches is illegal in many countries, including the UK, but in Turkey they have especially strict laws against the smuggling of artefacts, and taking souvenirs from a beach over here may result in you falling foul of the law.  

In one incident towards the end of 2015, a Scottish holidaymaker Hamish MacChuckie, 25, from Ecclefechan, Dumfries and Galloway was detained after it was discovered he had collected stones from local beaches.

Security officials at Antalya airport suspected that two of the pieces inside a bag of stones appeared to be historical artefacts.  The court released him from custody pending his trial but barred him from leaving Turkey.  He eventually returned to Scotland following payment of a fine.

But it could have been worse.  Some people have been jailed for removing artefacts.  So the golden rule is "take nothing" (except photographs and good memories).

Amnesty throughout 2016
For those who have removed items from Turkish beaches the authorities would like you to return them, so this year they are having an amnesty where you can return items that have been removed illegally. 

Whether it's pebbles, small rocks, bits of pottery, driftwood or any other natural or man made item you should bring them back this year and hand them in to the local Belediye office in Kalkan.  You will have to provide some personal details and all items returned will be evaluated, but the process is very simple and will not take long.

The Kalkan authorities are particularly keen to discover what happened to a large ancient stone that was removed from Kalkan beach back in 2012.  The huge stone, pictured below, was a bit of a tourist magnet and had become affectionately known as "Rock".

Shirley a Kalkan expat from Liverpool told KTLN that she really misses Rock.  She recounted how she would often sit next to it with a glass of wine watching the sun set. 

Below: Have you seen this rock?  If you know its whereabouts please contact the authorities.



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