Landmine working center to be established in Turkey
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoA National Mine Working Center will be established for the cleansing of landmines and unexploded ordnance within Turkish territory, according to a new law that has been approved by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The law foresees the establishment of the center and also a national landmine working plan, which will be prepared by the necessary ministries “considering Turkey’s national policies, strategies and priorities.”
More than 1 million landmines still remain undetected in Turkey, according to 2013 figures by “A Turkey Without Landmines,” a local NGO advocating for the fulfillment of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.
Turkey reported that its military had laid more than 600,000 mines along the Syrian border between 1957 and 1998 to prevent illegal border crossings, mainly against militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and only a few of these have been removed since then.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged Turkey on Dec. 3, 2014 to remove landmines from its border with Syria, after three people were killed and nine were wounded after more than 2,000 Syrian refugees camped in a minefield near the border.