Girl Identified as a Unicorn With a Toy Passport at Turkish Customs — and Passes Through Successfully

This is the international terminal at Antalya Airport where Emily Harris supposedly passed through customs with a toy passport. Photograph by FlyerTalk member Onur. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by Onur.

Imagine being able to enter a country with a toy passport while being identified by customs agents as a purple unicorn.

You might think “Yeah, right — that’ll be the day…when unicorns fly”, but that is apparently what happened at Antalya Airport in Turkey to a nine-year-old girl from South Wales when she was traveling with her parents on vacation — and her toy passport was even officially stamped.

The passport which Emily Harris was carrying was for Lily, which is the name of her stuffed unicorn which she brought with her through customs.

Nicky Harris allegedly did not realize what had happened with her daughter until she put away the passports and supposedly briefly panicked, thinking that someone would chase after them.

Nothing happened — and that reportedly concerned the mother, thinking that it is worrisome to parents about how easy it would be to smuggle a child through customs into another country.

FlyerTalk member eastport opines that “It appears that the girl was quite young and traveling with her parents. Once the parents cleared, there wasn’t a security issue to be concerned about.

“The entry official might just have assumed that the girl wanted the bear’s passport stamped as a memento, and played along.

What do you think? Does this incident represent a potential safety issue for children — or is this much ado about nothing more than a humorous experience for a girl, her parents and her unicorn?

Perhaps there is more to this story about which we do not know?

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Comments (Showing 8 of 8)

  • Wiggums at 10:41am June 13, 2013

    I have a hard time believing that since they don’t stamp passports in Turkey. They used a stamp on mine AND I had to pay for the visa.

  • duniawala at 11:25am June 13, 2013

    When I went from London to Frankfurt, they did not stamp my passport. When I asked (because I wanted to have the country stamp in my passport) they said no problem and stamped it. I assume the same for Turkey.

  • pinks at 1:23pm June 13, 2013

    I was in Turkey a few weeks ago and they definitely stamped both my passport and that of my spouse. It got stamped a few more times because we exited and reentered the country.

  • redreeper at 7:37pm June 13, 2013

    That horn looks longer than 2.36 inches to me. So much for security.

  • jamesclandestine at 6:37am June 14, 2013

    duniawala at 11:25am June 13, 2013

    When I went from London to Frankfurt, they did not stamp my passport. When I asked (because I wanted to have the country stamp in my passport) they said no problem and stamped it. I assume the same for Turkey.

    London – Frankfurt is a EU/Schengen flight..

    I assume the officer simply thought it was cute and stamped the pass as a vacation souvenier. I feel the story kinda twists what might have really happened.

  • gum at 5:40am June 17, 2013

    Just would like to agree, what jamesclandestine wrote!

    My opinion: The officer wanted to stamp a souvenir for the child which should for a long time allow memories to the unique holiday or travel experience.

    In the long run exaggerating such stories will lead to an increasing unfriendliness to children! The next time the officer will think twice before stamping a souvenir.

    I think the story is truely full of hot air!

  • nickknock1 at 8:05am June 17, 2013

    No good deed goes unpunished. Sounds like a couple of People, just made the process more bureaucratic. Their English, no surprise.

  • It'sHip2B^2 at 9:11am June 17, 2013

    The customs agent was probably just playing along with the girl. That’s a cute thing to do. She could take it home and show her friends. I’d probably do the time thing if I were in that position (I would, however, be sure to stamp the real passport). It wasn’t clear whether or not the parent was holding her passport as I might for my child.

    When I was younger I took my teddy bear with me and would strap him into an empty seat next to me. People thought it was cute in spite of the fact that I was 20 and flying in F.

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