Italian couple faces 33,000-Turkish Lira fine for catching endemic butterflies
ARTVİN – Anadolu Agency
After a search in the Italians’ caravan, police found the couple separated 682 butterflies. AA PhotoTwo Italian citizens charged with catching nearly 700 endemic butterflies illegally in the northeastern Turkish province of Artvin, could be fined between 33,000 and 66,000 Turkish Liras, Anadolu agency reported.
Turkish gendarmerie forces captured Liliana Lanzafame, 63, and Gioacchino Gulli, 69, catching endemic butterflies in Artvin’s Yusufeli neighborhood, after being alerted by witness Vildan Bozacı, a butterfly observer who works for the “Nature Protection Center” in a nearby village, Yaylalar.
Bozacı claimed that she saw the couple catching the butterflies with a tool, which has been used in the butterfly catching. After she took photographs of the two Italians in the act, Bozacı informed the Directorate of the Natural Conservation and National Parks’ Artvin branch office.
After a search in the Italians’ caravan, police found the couple separated 682 butterflies. The couple face a fine of 33,000 euros according to the relevant law of environment in the Turkish civil code.
The district director of the Natural Conservation and National Parks, Mustafa Bulut, said many of the butterflies that were caught belonged to the area, adding that Artvin was rich in terms of biodiversity.
“We encountered many people who want to smuggle endemic plants, butterflies and insects from our province,” Bulut said, adding that the citizens should give notice to the gendarmerie when they suspect someone who is a stranger in the village.