Campaign for landmine-free Turkey started

Campaign for landmine-free Turkey started

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The “Initiative for a Mine-Free Turkey” has launched a campaign to pressure Turkey to dispose of the one million landmines in the country.

The campaign program of the initiative, which was formed by a group of non-governmental organizations, was presented yesterday at a press conference in Istanbul. Representatives from Amnesty Turkey, the Human Rights Association, the Turkey Disabled People’s Association and the Turkish Medical Association attended.

Muteber Öğreten, head of the campaign, said the Turkish state was not taking steps against landmines, despite signing the Ottawa Agreement eight years ago.

According to Öğreten, 1,269 people have died due to landmine explosions in Turkey in last 26 years. 625 of them were soldiers while the rest were civilians.

As part of the international campaign to ban landmines, Öğreten called on all Turkish people to roll up a pant leg on April 4, saying: “lend your leg for a day for a mine-free world.”Ali Çerkezoğlu, general secretary of the Turkish Medical Association, said supporting or not supporting landmines was a political act