US tourist faces jail in Turkey for collecting beach 'stones' - New York News

US tourist faces jail in Turkey for collecting beach 'stones'

Posted: Updated:

An American tourist who collected stones during a six-day beach holiday with his wife was briefly detained in Turkey and faces trial for attempting to smuggle historical artifacts, he said on Wednesday.

Jason Dement was taken into custody by security officials at Antalya airport, near Turkey's Mediterranean coast, on Sunday because two of the pieces inside a bag of stones appeared to be artifacts. On Monday, a court released him from custody but barred him from leaving Turkey.

His lawyer said Dement, 30, from Purvis, Mississippi, faces prosecution under strict Turkish laws against the smuggling of artifacts. Turkey has broad definitions about what constitutes historical artifacts and Fatma Zuhre Akinci, the lawyer, said a museum report confirmed the pieces picked out by the security officials to be artifacts.

The report, cited in court papers, did not say precisely what the pieces may have been or say how old they may be, Akinci said.

Dement said he and his wife, Sheila, have a habit of collecting stones as souvenirs. One of stones was a triangular-shaped rough marble piece that looked as though it came from a modern building.

The other was a slanted, 5-inch long, brick-colored piece that had been washed by the sea and looked like it could have been old masonry.

"It had no inscription," Dement told The Associated Press by telephone from a hotel in Antalya. "It came from an ordinary beach. There were no historical sites around, no ancient ruins."

Dement, a former soldier, is a civilian employee at the Katterbach U.S. Army base in Germany. His wife, who is also employed at the base was not detained and was allowed to board the plane for Germany on Sunday.

On a blog he created seeking help to cover his costs while in Turkey, Dement said: "The judge is awaiting an official report from a museum historian that will weigh in on the true value of the 'artifact' .... and this will be a huge factor in the next phase of my court struggle."

The punishment for smuggling ancient artifacts is up to 12 years in prison.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/04/18/us-tourist-faces-jail-in-turkey-for-collecting-beach-stones/?intcmp=features#ixzz2QpO4EStP

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Bodies of 2 men found dead in DC

    Bodies of 2 men found dead in DC

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 3:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 19:34:36 GMT
    Police in the district are investigating after the bodies of two men who were found dead Wednesday.
    Police in the district are investigating after the bodies of two men who were found dead Wednesday.
  • Caught On Tape: Intruder creeps through home, lurks over crib

    Caught On Tape: Intruder creeps through home, lurks over crib

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-04-16 17:08:32 GMT
    FOX NEWS INSIDER - A home surveillance system caught an intruder lurking through a home while a family slept. At one point, the male intruder is shown in a child's room while a two-year-old boy is asleep
    FOX NEWS INSIDER - A home surveillance system caught an intruder lurking through a home while a family slept. At one point, the male intruder is shown in a child's room while a two-year-old boy is asleep
  • Pope gives a lift to 2 kids in St. Peter's Square

    Pope gives a lift to 2 kids in St. Peter's Square

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:56 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:56:42 GMT
    VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has given a lift to two lucky kids during his general audience in St. Peter's Square. A particularly jovial Francis hopped off his white, open-air car Wednesday to greet a group of fifth graders from Perugia who presented him with a T-shirt from their school. Seemingly joking, Francis asked if any of them wanted to take a spin through the square. "Me! Me! Me!" they yelled. Francis picked 11-year-olds Livio Bastianelli and Davide Maria Bianchi and the two hop...
    VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has given a lift to two lucky kids during his general audience in St. Peter's Square. A particularly jovial Francis hopped off his white, open-air car Wednesday to greet a group of fifth graders from Perugia who presented him with a T-shirt from their school. Seemingly joking, Francis asked if any of them wanted to take a spin through the square. "Me! Me! Me!" they yelled. Francis picked 11-year-olds Livio Bastianelli and Davide Maria Bianchi and the two hop...
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Baby found in teen's shopping bag called homicide

    Baby found in teen's shopping bag called homicide

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:07 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:07:27 GMT
    The New York City medical examiner has ruled that the death of a baby found in a teenager's shopping bag was a homicide.
    The New York City medical examiner has ruled that the death of a baby found in a teenager's shopping bag was a homicide.
  • Chelsea Clinton: I might run for office

    Chelsea Clinton: I might run for office

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-04-17 00:36:50 GMT
    Chelsea Clinton says she might run for office someday - if she becomes dissatisfied with the job her elected representatives are doing.
    Chelsea Clinton says she might run for office someday - if she becomes dissatisfied with the job her elected representatives are doing.
  • NJ mom charged with trying to kill her 3 teens

    NJ mom charged with trying to kill her 3 children

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:25 PM EDT2014-04-17 00:25:35 GMT
    A southern New Jersey woman is in custody on charges she tried to kill her three children by driving her car into the Delaware River.
    A southern New Jersey woman is in custody on charges she tried to kill her three children by driving her car into the Delaware River.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices