The Landmine Monitor 2013 report has announced that there are still 1 million land mines in Turkey, although over 26,000 of them were removed last year.
The portion of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines' (ICBL) report on Turkey was debated on Thursday in Istanbul. Evaluating the report, the coordinator of the Initiative for a Mine-Free Turkey, Muteber Ogreten said trade of land mines on the black market still exists, evidenced by land mines that have been discovered in Syria and Yemen.
According to the figures Ogreten provided, as of June 21, 2011, approximately 3 million land mines were destroyed in Turkey. “In 2012, over 26,000 land mines were removed, but the number of still-buried land mines is 1 million,” she says before going on to say that "since 1998, only 1 percent of the land mines have been destroyed." According to her, since 2004, about TL 55.8 million has been spent on the removal of land mines. The cost of removing a single mine is TL 4,678. “Because of land mines, one person is either killed or wounded every three days,” she further says.
There are also 3,520 plots of land that are riddled with land mines across the country.
Indicating that Turkey asked for an additional 80 years to remove its remaining land mines, Öğreten said this is only an estimate for how long such a process could take. Urging the government to be committed to the international agreement to remove land mines, Öğreten expressed concerns that in the years to come many lives will be lost to land mines.
Land mines leave many handicapped
The chairman of the Handicapped Association of Turkey, Sukru Boyraz, also said that in addition to lost lives, each year thousands of people become handicapped because of land mines and are oftentimes left to care for themselves. Boyraz urged the state to end this problem.
He said the association has been struggling to prevent further incidents that can end in people becoming handicapped. In almost every household in the border provinces, from Hatay to Ardahan, there are people either who have been killed or hurt by land mines, according to Boyraz.
The secretary-general of the İstanbul Medical Association, Ali Cerkezoglu, said that Turkey's borders should not be defended by land mines, which are considered lethal weapons.
The head of the Istanbul branch of the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER), Cüneyt Sarıyasar, said that people across the border from Turkey face the same problems all over their county, not just in one region. He believes this is a significant issue that affects the lives of many.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan discussed the Israel-Gaza in an exclusive interview with CNN, and accused Israel of being a “terror state”.
When integrated with the Marmaray, the under-sea tunnel connecting the both sides of Istanbul, a passenger will be able to travel directly through the country's Asian and European sides without requiring any other means of transportation.
Jewish people should not be identified with Israeli military or political policy, say academics.
Turkish dailies reported Thursday on the latest developments of the operation in Istanbul and other cities against police officers and officials in the wiretapping probe, along with the latest clashes in Israel and Palestine.
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu postponed a trip to France and left for Qatar in an effort to reach ceasefire between Israel and Gaza.
A major operation in Istanbul and other cities sees 22 more police personnel detained and 14 of them have been sent to court.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu three times on Thursday.
"If Israel continues with this attitude, it will definitely be tried at international courts," Erdogan told a rally of supporters in the southern port city of Mersin.
A major operation in Istanbul and other cities saw 104 police officers and chiefs detained and 22 of them sent to the court.
Troubles in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Israel are forcing airlines travelling between the east and the west to fly through Turkey.
"The U.S., Turkey, Qatar and Egypt have been working for the last five days to ensure an immediate ceasefire," Ahmet Davutoglu said
Turkey called on citizens to immediately leave Libya and avoid non-essential travel after airports were closed down due to shelling.
Turkish dailies reported Thursday on the latest developments of the operation in Istanbul and other cities against the police officers and officials in wiretapping probe, the latest clashes in Israel and Palestine and the Taiwan plane crash which left 51 dead.
Syrian refugee: “Syrians brought dynamism to trade here in Gaziantep”.
'We will continue to remind the world of the blood of innocent Palestinian infants and children,' Turkish PM Erdogan said.
Hamas does possess rockets that can reach Israel's Ben Gurion airport although the accuracy of the rockets does remain limited, the State Department said