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Chinese tourist accused of smuggling cultural relics from Turkey

(Xinhua)

15:32, April 02, 2012

SHANGHAI, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai tourist Du Chengyi's journey to Turkey took a disastrous turn when local police accused him of smuggling cultural relics, despite his pleas of innocence.

Du and his wife and mother-in-law flew from Brussels, Belgium to Istanbul, Turkey on March 18 before traveling to the southwestern tourist city of Antalya, where he bought a piece of rectangular stone from a roadside peddler at a cost of 20 euros.

"I know Turkey is a major marble exporter and is famous for its stone, so I bought the stone as a souvenir," Du said.

When they departed Antalya four days later, they were informed by customs officers at a local airport that they were under suspicion of smuggling, adding that the stone is considered to be a cultural artifact, Du recalled.

Du and his family members were taken away by police and put in a detention house, where they were waiting for a court ruling. If convicted, the three will be fined and jailed according to Turkish law.

With the help of the Chinese embassy in Turkey, Du and his family members were freed from the detention house, but were confined in Antalya until a local court can come up with a ruling.

Du wrote about his experience on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site. His post was forwarded by thousands of users, including an official account used by the Turkish Tourism Bureau.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:陈丽丹)

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toklugo at 2012-04-0376.124.224.*
They were singled out by Turkish police.WHY DON"T THESE FOOL POLICE APPREHEND SEELER OF STONES? THEY ARE EVERYWHERE IN SOME PART OF TURKEY!CHINESE TOURISTS MUST AVOID TURKEY!!!!They have some criminal in police force.
numa-amandla at 2012-04-02124.210.129.*
Whether Mr. Du and his family members charged in the case are innoceent or have originally tried smuggling is still anyone"s guess. However, this kind of case regarding cultural heritages could happen to remnants in rural areas or statues and carvings in an antiques shops in China.
  

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