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It has been impossible to clear mines on Turkey’s eastern border for 17 years


14-year-old Yusuf Ata and 16-year-old Caner Sak, who grazed their animals in Uludere district of Sirnak on March 21, and 40-year-old Cemil Kachar, a shepherd in Silopi district, died on April 1. . Rising in deaths, Turkey has revived the 2004 Ottawa Convention on Personnel Mine Use, Prohibition of Storage, Production and Circulation and Destruction.

Has Turkey fulfilled its obligations?

Turkey has voluntarily signed the Ottawa Treaty, States Parties have pledged to clear mines within four years, and undertake to clear all paved areas of mines within ten years, and to rehabilitate mines and mine victims to prevent access to known areas or markings. Is Turkey fulfilling its obligations?

According to Muteber Örete, Coordinator of the Mine Action Turkey Initiative, more than three million mines have destroyed the reserves found in Turkey. In an agreement signed by Turkey in 2004, the teacher pointed out that more than a million mines had been buried, he said he had not cleared the entire duration of his debts. Not enough efforts have been made to re-integrate mine victims into society, the teacher said. “

850 thousand mines on the eastern border of Turkey

The borders of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Armenia have buried 157,327 hectares, there are more than 850,000 mines. As part of the fight against the PKK in the 1990s, about 100,000 mines were planted around police stations and evacuated villages. Human rights groups say there are 10,000 landmines outside Tunceli alone. The mines in the east and southeast suffer from the locals, who provide more of their livelihoods for agriculture and livestock. According to the Interior Ministry, a mining explosion in Turkey between 1984 and 2009 killed 6,360 people, including 625 security personnel, and killed 269 people and injured 5,091. According to the Human Rights Association, between 1990 and 2002, 512 landmines exploded, killing 838 people and injuring 937, including 214 children.

Lawyers complain about impunity

Human rights groups say 31 children have been killed and 48 injured by landmines and war explosives since 2015. Diyarbakir Bar Association and Coordinator of the Center for Children’s Rights, Deputy Chief of Staff Koluman Deputy Emergency Day, the most important reason for non-fulfillment of duties arising from Turkey in connection with the death of the contract. Stating that Turkey did not have time to clear mines in the area, Koluman said that children and adults should be informed about the agreement, but that it was done.

Noting that these studies were not conducted, the children said they experienced more violations of their right to life and loss of limbs out of curiosity. documents have been thrown on the shelves. It is clear that the policy of impunity is still a serious threat to both mine victims and casualties. As in all other violent incidents, it is clear that other complaints will occur as a result of their lives and impunity. “

Turkey’s new 2025 target

After a decade of commitment by the parties to the convention to clear all mines in Turkey, this time took an additional eight years, with the missed UN targets extending to 2022. However, in response to a parliamentary question from HDP MP Filiz Kerestecioglu, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the clearance of mined areas would continue until the end of 2025. This means that Turkey will extend the term for another three years. According to the Ministry of National Defense, about 36,000 mines were found and destroyed between 2017 and 2020.

Is the 2025 target realistic?

In other words, Turkey’s goal of clearing mines in as short a period of four years did not materialize for 17 years? “Since there is no transparency on this issue, we can look at the measures taken so far and say whether it is real. Muteber Öğreten, Coordinator of the Mine Action Turkey Initiative, “Looking at 2014, we can not say that it is not true since the demining.” He speaks in form.

“Develop an action plan for mine action” request

The mining problem in Turkey is not just about the limit. As part of the fight against the PKK, about a hundred thousand mines placed inside remain an important problem. Turkey said at a briefing that it would send its experience to the United Nations across the border to clean up the country’s interior. However, this issue is not related to a program and there is no exact date yet.

Finally, HDP Sirnak MPs Nuran Imir, Huseyin Kaçmaz and Hasan Özgüneş, petitioned the Turkish Grand National Assembly to investigate the deaths caused by landmines. We want to open a parliamentary inquiry to identify the mines in Turkey, clear the area of ​​mines and protect the safety of citizens.

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