Last Updated: 25 November 2013

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Considers existing law sufficient

Transparency reporting

Submitted for calendar year 2012


The Republic of Turkey acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 25 September 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2004. Turkey has not enacted domestic implementation legislation but has indicated that its constitution and criminal code, as well as directives from Turkish Armed Forces General Staff, give legal effect to the treaty’s provisions.[1]

Turkey submitted its tenth Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report in 2013, covering calendar year 2012.[2] The report includes voluntary Form J with information on casualties and victim assistance.

Turkey participated in the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in December 2012 where it made statements on transparency of information and mine clearance. Turkey also attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2013 where it made a statement on compliance and requested an extension to meet its Article 5 obligations.

Turkey is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. Turkey had not submitted its annual report required by Article 13 as of 1 October 2013.

Production and transfer

Turkey halted production of antipersonnel mines concurrently with a moratorium on the transfer of mines in January 1996. Its production facilities were then closed.[3] Turkey is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines. It has imported mines from Germany and the United States (US).


Turkish Armed Forces

Even prior to joining the Mine Ban Treaty, the chief of the Turkish General Staff issued a directive banning the use of antipersonnel mines by the Turkish Armed Forces on 26 January 1998.[4] However, there have been serious allegations of at least two instances of use by members of the Turkish Armed Forces in southeastern Turkey near the border with Iraq, in Sirnak province (April 2009) and Hakkari province (May 2009).

In the first incident, the Turkish newspaper Taraf published a document allegedly belonging to the 23rd Gendarmerie Division Command that indicated that on 9 April 2009 members of the Turkish Armed Forces emplaced M2A4 antipersonnel mines in Sirnak province.[5] Turkey did not announce that an investigation into this incident was underway until May 2012.[6] In May 2013, Turkey informed States Parties that “A detailed investigation comprising a consequent administrative legal scrutiny were [sic] undertaken. Let me share with you, for the record, that there has not been an explosion. Moreover the registry of Turkish Armed Forces shows that the mine allegedly in question was destroyed before the end of 2009, together with the stockpiled ones.”[7] It remains unclear if further mines from this alleged mined area remain in the ground as Turkey’s report only indicated the destruction of one mine.

The second case relates to seven Turkish soldiers who were killed and eight wounded by an antipersonnel mine near Cukurca on 27 May 2009.[8] The Turkish army initially alleged that the Kurdistan Workers Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) planted the mine, but in June 2009 the Turkish media reported that the mine was in fact laid by Turkish forces not long before the detonation.[9] An investigation by the chief prosecutor in Van determined that the mine belonged to the Turkish military and was planted on the orders of a Turkish commander.[10] The case was forwarded to the Turkish General Staff military prosecutor’s office.[11]

According to media accounts, a report on the incident in September 2010 provided to the Military’s prosecutor’s office found that the device used was an “anti-personnel landmine.” Brigadier General Zeki Es, who allegedly ordered the placement of the mine, was arrested in November 2010 and a case was opened in the Turkish martial court.[12] General Es was released in February 2011 after several soldiers recanted their previous testimony.[13] In October 2011, according to a media account, an expert report prepared at the request of the military court found that commanders were responsible for the deaths due to negligence and poor planning.[14] In February 2012, the Turkish General Staff’s martial court continued hearing the case against two generals and four other officers.[15] In May 2013, Turkey informed States Parties that “The most recent hearing of the trial was held by this Military Court on April 19, 2013. The court rendered its verdict and sentenced a Turkish Brigadier General to 6 years and 8 months of imprisonment due to “causing death and injury by negligence.” Turkey informed States Parties that this was an initial verdict, not a final decision, and that “the work on producing the reasoning of this decision is still underway.”[16] No mention was made of a violation of the ban on antipersonnel mines in the court’s proceedings, findings, or judgment.

Under the Mine Ban Treaty, Turkey must take every measure to prevent the use of antipersonnel mines, including the application of penal sanctions. The ICBL has previously called on Turkey to thoroughly investigate the use allegations, to report to States Parties on its findings, and undertake measures to prevent further use.[17] It has also emphasized the need to establish the origin of the mines used, which could have been lifted from the ground and re-laid or could have been taken from stocks retained for training purposes, and to clarify what specific law or laws had applied during the trial.[18] Several States Parties and the ICRC have expressed their deep concern about these allegations of mine use since they were reported in 2010.

PKK/Kongra Gel

Turkish officials have continued to accuse the PKK/Kurdistan People’s Congress (Kongra Gel) of ongoing use of antipersonnel mines.[19] According to Turkey’s latest Article 7 report, 16 persons were killed and 66 wounded in 2012 by landmines laid by the PKK/Kongra Gel. Turkey’s Article 7 report did not differentiate between civilian and military casualties or incidents caused by antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs), nor do they distinguish between victim-activated and command-detonated mines/IEDs.[20] The Mine Ban Treaty does not prohibit the use of antivehicle mines or command-detonated antipersonnel explosive devices.

In the past, the Turkish General Staff published information on mines recovered without specifying the types and locations of the mines.[21] The Turkish General Staff no longer lists this information on its website. Turkey did not specifically report on recovered mines and their disposition in previous Article 7 reports.

The Monitor was not able to obtain from Turkey specific dates and locations, or other concrete details, of the allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by the PKK/Kongra Gel or of specific incidents that led to casualties from antipersonnel mines.

The PKK/Kongra Gel have admitted to the use of command-detonated mines, but denied any use of mines or other explosive devices that can be activated by a person or a vehicle.[22] In July 2006, the NGO Geneva Call reported that the PKK had unilaterally halted antipersonnel mine use by signing the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment.

Stockpiling and destruction

Turkey announced in December 2011 that its stockpile destruction program was completed on 21 June 2011. It had missed its 1 March 2008 treaty-mandated deadline for stockpile destruction, and was in violation of the Mine Ban Treaty for over three years. Turkey had previously reported that its munitions disposal facility had not been officially inaugurated until 8 November 2007.[23]

Turkey stated that in 2004, when it became a State Party, it had a stockpile of 2,973,481 antipersonnel mines. In early 2006, Turkey indicated it had a stock of 2,866,818 antipersonnel mines to destroy. In its Article 7 report issued after the announcement of the completion of the destruction program, Turkey stated that 2,938,060 mines had been destroyed in total.[24]

In the past, Turkey also reported possession of 18,236 M18 Claymore mines, but in 2007 it reported that M18 mines were removed from its stockpile destruction list due to their “specific technical features” and “will not be used as victim activated.”[25] In 2008, officials said that the tripwires for M18s had been destroyed.

Mines retained for research and training

On becoming a State Party in 2004, Turkey initially retained 16,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes.[26] In its Article 7 report submitted in 2012, Turkey reported that it currently retains 15,041 mines.[27] In December 2012, Turkey informed States Parties that it retains mines “solely for the purpose of training in mine detection, clearance and destruction techniques.”[28] Turkey’s 2013 Article 7 report indicates that 59 mines were consumed during 2012, of 98 mines transferred for training purposes.[29]

Turkey continues to retain the largest number of antipersonnel mines among States Parties. In December 2012, it repeated that the “large size, as well as the different types of mine action units, necessitate the Turkish Armed Forces to retain a certain number of APLMs [antipersonnel landmines] for training purposes.”[30] Between 31 December 2004 and 31 December 2012, Turkey reported consuming a total of 959 retained mines for permitted purposes, 850 in 2005 and 109 over the eight years.[31] In December 2012, Turkey defended its large number of retained mines by stating, “Article 3 recognizes the specific and different needs of States Parties by not fixing numbers or ceilings for mines retained for training purposes.” It added that a minimum of 700 of the retained mines would be used for training personnel for clearance of the minefields bordering Syria.[32]

In December 2012, Turkey repeated that it is “considering reassessing the number of mines retained for permitted purposes.”[33] It made similar statements in 2010.[34] Similarly, in May 2006, it stated that “after covering some more ground in mine clearance, Turkey may review the number of mines retained for training purposes.”[35] In June 2005, Turkey said, “This figure [16,000 mines] may be reassessed as the process of downsizing the armed forces progresses.”[36]


[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Form A, and Annexes A, B, and C, 1 October 2004 and 10 May 2005. Turkey’s Form A in 2013 states only that “Turkey stopped using APMs [antipersonnel mines] and commenced clearing APMs in 1998.” In July 2011, Turkey stated that two laws apply in cases where death or injury is caused due to explosion of mines or improvised explosive devices (IEDs): Articles 81, 86, and 89 of the Turkish Penal Code (Law No. 5237) and Articles 87 and 89 of the Turkish Military Penal Code (Law No. 1632). Email from Serhan Yigit, Head of Arms Control and Disarmament Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4 July 2011.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2012). Turkey submitted Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports in 2012 (for calendar year 2011), 2011 (for calendar year 2010), 2010 (for calendar year 2009), 2009 (for calendar year 2008), in 2008 (for calendar year 2007), and on 23 April 2007, 30 April 2006, 30 April 2005, and 1 October 2004.

[3] In the past, Turkey had produced both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines. The Turkish company, Makinave Kimya Endustrisi Kurumu(MKEK), produced copies of two United States (US) antipersonnel mines (M14 and M16).

[4] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Fifth Meeting of States Parties, Bangkok, 17 September 2003.

[5] Melìs Gönenç, “Mine news became evidence,” Taraf online, 16 April 2010; and “Allegation: Turkey breaking landmine ban,” United Press International, 16 April 2010.

[6] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 25 May 2012. Notes by the ICBL.

[7] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 27 May 2013. http://www.apminebanconvention.org/intersessional-work-programme/may-2013/general-status-and-operation-of-the-convention/statements/?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=16424

[8] “Tripwire mine incident kills six soldiers,” Radikal (Hakkari), 29 May 2009; and Mustafa Yuksel, “Explosion which killed seven soldiers under desk investigation,” Zaman (Ankara), 9 April 2010.

[9] The article stated that the mine was a handmade victim-activated explosive that was only referred to as a “Special Alert Warning System.” “Shocking allegations on 6 killed in mine explosion,” Zaman, 24 June 2009; and Metin Arslan, “TSK mine martyrs seven soldiers,” Zaman, 8 April 2010.

[10] Metin Arslan, “Last photo of TSK mine victims in Çukurca revealed,” Zaman, 7 May 2010.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Metin Arslan and Fatih Karakiliç, “General who planted deadly Çukurca mines sent to jail,” Zaman, 8 November 2010.

[13] “Turkish general released after soldiers change testimony,” Hurriyet Daily News, 22 February 2011.

 [14] Metin Arslan, “Expert report: Commanders responsible for land mine deaths of 7 soldiers,” Today’s Zaman, 23 October 2011.

[15] Senior officers tried in the case on the mine explosion,” Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, 9 February 2012.

[16] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 27 May 2013.

[17] ICBL, “Grave concerns over allegations of landmine use by Turkey,” Press release, 19 April 2010; and letter to Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, from Sylvie Brigot, Executive Director, ICBL, 18 May 2010.

[18] Turkey has reported that M2 mines are among those retained for training purposes. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form D.

[19] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 21 May 2012. Notes by the ICBL. The PKK/Kongra Gel is listed as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the European Union, NATO, the United Kingdom, and the US. As a matter of practice, the Monitor does not apply the term “terrorist” to any individual or organization except within an attributed quotation.

[20] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form J.

[21] Turkish General Staff, “The number of IED and mine incidents perpetrated by the terror organization in 2009 (1 January–25 December 2009),” and “The number of IED and mine incidents perpetrated by the members of the terror organization in 2010 (1 January–20 August 2010),” undated, www.tsk.tr.

[23] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Dead Sea, Jordan, 19 November 2007.

[24] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011), Form G. In the first half of 2011, Turkey declared that its remaining 631 stockpiled Area Denial Artillery Munition (ADAM) artillery projectiles (each containing 36 mines, or a total of 22,716 ADAM mines) had been transferred for destruction. See, statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 20 June 2011; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010), Form D. On behalf of Turkey, the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency had signed a contract in November 2010 with Spreewerk Lübben GMBH, a company in Germany, to destroy the ADAM mines as Turkey’s Munitions Disposal Facility could not complete this task. Destruction of the first ADAM mines began in Germany in March 2011 and the program concluded on 21 June 2011. Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011.

[25] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 23 April 2007. Use of victim-activated Claymore mines is prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, but use of command-detonated Claymore mines is permitted. In May 2006, Turkey stated that “the victim activation components of M18 Claymore mines have recently been added to the list of mines to be destroyed and the necessary steps have been taken to stock only command detonated M18 Claymore mines.” Statement of Turkey, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 11 May 2006.

[26] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 1 October 2004. This included 4,700 each of DM-11 and M14, and 2,200 each of M16, M18, and M2 mines. In 2006, Turkey reported the number of mines retained for training had decreased to 15,150 “because 850 mines have been used for mine detection, mine clearance and mine destruction programmes carried out to train military personnel involved in mine action, as well as for related training at various military training institutions.” Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 12 May 2006. This information was also indicated in Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2006. However, neither document specified how many of each type of mine were destroyed, and how many remained.

[27] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012), Form D.

[28] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 7 December 2012.

[29] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012), Form D.

[30] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 7 December 2012; and statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 25 May 2009.

[31] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (covering from 31 December 2004 to 31 December 2011), Forms D. The other 50 were consumed as follows: 25 consumed in the period 1 Jan–31 Dec 2008, 25 consumed in the period 1 Jan–31 Dec 2010. None were consumed in 2011.

[32] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 7 December 2012.

[33] Ibid.

 [34] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 25 June 2010.

[35] Ibid., 12 May 2006. It made a similar statement in October 2005. Letter No. 649.13/2005/BMCO DT/8805 from Vehbi Esgel Etensel, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN in Geneva, 3 October 2005.

[36] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 13 June 2005.

Last Updated: 23 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


The Republic of Turkey has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Turkey expressed its support for the humanitarian objectives of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2013 and 2014, but did not articulate why it is not able to join the ban convention at this time.[1] In April 2014, a government official informed the CMC that Turkey’s position remains unchanged in that it is unable to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[2] In October 2013, a representative stated that “Turkey…fully shares the humanitarian goals of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and strongly condemns their use against civilian populations.”[3]

Turkey is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and supported efforts to conclude a draft protocol on cluster munitions. Turkey is not known to have reviewed its position on accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions since the CCW failed in 2011 to conclude a cluster munitions protocol, ending its deliberations on the weapons and leaving the Convention on Cluster Munitions as the sole multilateral instrument specifically dedicated to cluster munitions.

Turkey attended several of the diplomatic conferences of the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Conventional Weapons. However, it participated only as an observer in the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 and the Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008 and did not sign the convention.[4]

Despite not joining, Turkey has continued to show interest in the Convention on Cluster Munitions since 2008. Turkey has attended every meeting of States Parties of the convention as an observer, including the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013, but it has never made a statement at these meetings. Turkey participated for the second time in the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva in April 2014, but it did not make any statements.

Turkey has voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the Syrian government’s cluster munition use, including Resolution 68/182 on 18 December 2013, which expressed “outrage” at Syria’s “continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights…including those involving the use of…cluster munitions.”[5]

The Initiative for a Mine-Free Turkey, a CMC member, works to garner domestic support for the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

In the past, Turkey has produced, exported, and imported cluster munitions; it currently has a stockpile.

In September 2013, an official informed the CMC that Turkey does not intend to use cluster munitions.[6] In March 2009, Turkey stated that it “is not making use of cluster munitions.”[7] It is not known if Turkey used cluster munitions in the past.[8] A United States (US) Department of State cable from February 2008 made public by Wikileaks in May 2011, states that “there exists a de facto moratorium on the use of cluster munitions by the Turkish armed forces [but] Turkey’s military doctrine continues to call for the use of cluster munitions in the event of an ‘all out war.’”[9]

In June 2010, a government official informed the Monitor that “Turkey does not use, transfer, produce or import cluster munitions.”[10] In August 2011, another official told the Monitor, “Turkey no longer produces, transfers, exports or imports cluster munitions; has not produced cluster munitions since 2005; and has never used cluster munitions in the past.”[11]

According to its website, the Turkish company Makina ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu (MKEK) produces an extended range M396 155mm artillery projectile which contains self-destructing M85 dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunitions.[12] MKEK has also produced, under license from the US, M483A1 155mm artillery projectiles with DPICM submunitions.[13] It is unclear if this latter projectile is still in production.

The firm Roketsan has produced the TRK-122 122mm rocket, which contains 56 M85 DPICM submunitions.[14] Turkey sold 3,020 of the TRK-122 122mm rockets to the United Arab Emirates in 2006–2007.[15]

The US supplied Turkey with 3,304 Rockeye cluster bombs, each with 247 submunitions, at some point between 1970 and 1995.[16] In 1995, the US announced that it would provide Turkey with 120 ATACMS missiles with submunitions for its multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) launchers.[17] Turkey also possesses US-supplied M26 rockets, each with 644 submunitions, for its MLRS. In 2004, the US announced its intent to transfer to Turkey two CBU-103 Combined Effects Munitions cluster bombs, each with 202 submunitions, and two AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapons (JSOW), each with 145 submunitions.[18] In 2005, it announced the proposed sale of another 50 CBU-103 and 50 JSOW.[19]

Slovakia reported the export of 380 AGAT 122mm rockets, each containing 56 submunitions, to Turkey in 2007.[20]

Chile’s Ministry of National Defense has provided the Monitor with a document detailing the export of four CB-250 cluster bombs to Turkey in 1996.[21]


[1] In 2009, Turkey stated that “for the time being” it was not able to consider accession because its primary aim was to fulfill its obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty, to which it is a State Party. Letter from Amb. Tomur Bayer, Director-General, International Security Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Human Rights Watch (HRW), 2 March 2009. Turkey has not articulated its position on joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions since it completed the destruction of its stockpiled antipersonnel landmines in June 2011 after missing the initial stockpile destruction deadline in 2008.

[2] CMC meeting with Ramazan Ercan, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN in Geneva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 April 2014.

[3] Statement of Turkey, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 30 October 2013.

[4] For details on Turkey’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 246–249.

[5]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/68/182, 18 December 2013. Turkey voted in favor of a similar resolution on 15 May 2013.

[6] CMC meeting with Kultuhan Celik, Second Secretary, Embassy of Turkey to Zambia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013.

[7] Letter from Amb. Tomur Bayer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to HRW, 2 March 2009.

[8] In January 1994, the Turkish Air Force carried out an attack on the Zaleh camp of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) in northern Iraq near the Iranian border. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union, NATO, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States (US). Turkish television reported that US-supplied cluster bombs were used. See HRW, “U.S. Cluster Bombs for Turkey?,” Vol. 6, No. 19, December 1994, citing Foreign Broadcast Information Network, Western Europe, FBIS-WEU-94-0919, 28 January 1994, p. 26, from Ankara TRT Television Network in Turkish, 11:00 GMT, 18 January 1994.

[9]Turkey Shares USG Concerns About Oslo Process,” US Department of State cable dated 12 February 2008, released by Wikileaks on 20 May 2011.

[10] Email from İsmail Çobanoğlu, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN in New York, 24 June 2010.

[11] Email from Ramazan Ercan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 August 2011.

[12] MKEK, “155 mm M396 ERDP Ammunition,” undated.

[13] Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), pp. 635636.

[14] Ibid., p. 702; and Roketsan, “122 mm Artillery Weapons Systems, Extended Range Rockets and 122 mm MBRL System,” undated, www.roketsan.com.tr.

[15] Submission of the Republic of Turkey, UN Register of Conventional Arms, Report for Calendar Year 2006, 22 March 2007; and Report for Calendar Year 2007, 7 July 2008.

[16] US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, “Cluster Bomb Exports under FMS, FY1970–FY1995,” obtained by HRW in a Freedom of Information Act request, 28 November 1995.

[17] Congressional Record, “Proposed Sale of Army Tactical Missile System to Turkey,” 11 December 1995, p. E2333. Each ATACMS missile contains 300 or 950 submunitions.

[18] US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, “Notifications to Congress of Pending US Arms Transfers,” No. 05-12, 7 October 2004.

[19] US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, “Turkey – Munitions and Aircraft Components for F-16 Aircraft,” Press release, Transmittal No. 05-29, 8 September 2005,; and US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, “Turkey Wants the AGM-154A/C Joint Standoff Weapons,” Press release, Transmittal No. 05-33, 6 September 2005.

[20] Submission of the Slovak Republic, UN Register of Conventional Arms, Report for Calendar Year 2007, 12 June 2008.

[21] “Exports of Cluster Bombs Authorized in the Years 1991–2001,” official document by General Directorate of National Mobilization (Dirección General de Movilización Nacional), Chilean Ministry of National Defense document provided together with letter from the Brig. Gen. Roberto Ziegele Kerber, Director-General of National Mobilization, Ministry of National Defense of Chile, 18 May 2012.

Last Updated: 25 August 2014

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact

Overall Mine Action Performance: VERY POOR[1]

Performance Indicator


Problem understood


Target date for completion of clearance


Targeted clearance


Efficient clearance


National funding of program


Timely clearance


Land release system


National mine action standards


Reporting on progress


Improving performance




The Republic of Turkey is contaminated with antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, as well as improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Mines were laid in 1956–1959 along 510km of the border with Syria, as well as on some sections of the borders with Armenia, Iran, and Iraq in order to prevent illegal border crossings; additionally, mines were laid around security installations.[2] According to Turkey, all mines laid along its borders with Bulgaria, Georgia, and Greece have been cleared.[3]

In its Article 5 deadline extension request submitted in March 2013, Turkey identified a total of 3,520 mined areas covering almost 215km². This estimate was provisional as another 346 suspected mined areas have yet to be investigated, of which 279 are on the border with Iraq. The main mine-affected area is on the border with Syria (190km²), with small amounts on the borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Iraq. A further 704 mined areas covering a total of 2.6km² have been identified around military installations inside the country.[4] No update has yet been provided on the size or number of mined areas cleared in 2013.

Table 1. Mined areas as of March 2013[5]


Mined areas

Area (km²)

Armenian border



Azerbaijan border



Iranian border



Iraqi border



Syrian border



Areas inside Turkey






Landmines were also emplaced by government forces during the 1984–1999 conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) in the southeast of the country. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, these mines have been progressively cleared since 1998.[6]

During the 1974 occupation of northern Cyprus, Turkish Armed Forces laid minefields to create a barrier on the northern side of the buffer zone that divides the island, and also in areas adjacent to the buffer zone. The UN identified 26 minefields laid by Turkish forces in the buffer zone.[7] Cyprus reported in 2011 that one minefield remained in the buffer zone after clearance of 78 mined areas and 26,000 mines.[8] In 2014, Cyprus reported other mined areas in areas under the control of Turkish forces in the north of Cyprus (see separate report on Cyprus).

Explosive remnants of war

Turkey is also contaminated with explosive remnants of war (ERW), primarily unexploded ordnance (UXO), but has not identified the affected areas. Human Rights Foundation reports, cited by Landmine Action in 2005, claimed that the areas most affected were Batman, Bingöl, Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Mardin, Siirt, Sirnak, and Van.[9] There is no evidence of any problem with cluster munition remnants.

Mine Action Program

Key institutions and operators


Situation on 1 May 2014

National Mine Action Authority


Mine action center


International demining operators


National demining operators

Turkish Armed Forces

International risk education operators


National risk education operators


Turkey still does not have a national mine action authority (NMAA) or national mine action center (NMAC). Currently mine action activities are decentralized with responsibility divided between various national authorities. The Turkish Army is responsible for contaminated areas around military installations; the Ministry of Interior oversees clearance activities in the eastern borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Iran; and clearance activities along the border with Syria fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of National Defense.[10]

Turkey reported that efforts were underway to centralize coordination of clearance activities through efforts by the Ministry of National Defense to establish an NMAA and NMAC. In 2013, it was reported that a draft law on the establishment of an NMAA and NMAC had been completed and was awaiting input from other ministries before delivery to the Prime Minister to submit to Parliament.[11] The law was expected to pass through Parliament in 2014, but no progress was reported as of May 2014.[12]

In the meantime, an Interministerial Coordination Board within the Ministry of National Security reportedly began working on 26 October 2010 and was said to be “meeting regularly and practically functioning as the National Mine Action Authority” to coordinate all government agencies involved in mine action, elaborate mine action standards, and discuss key issues, including appropriate mine clearance methodologies and risk education.[13]

Turkey’s Article 5 deadline extension request says it plans to complete clearance of all mined areas by 2022, including its borders with Armenia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria as well as mined areas around installations inside the country. Turkey gave priority to clearing the Syrian border, estimated to account for two-thirds of the mines and close to 90% of the remaining mined area. Officials observe it is also the easiest border to clear because the terrain is flat and there has been minimal displacement of mines as a result of factors such as land erosion.[14] Delays in 2013 in implementing plans for demining the Syrian border left the prospects for early progress uncertain.

Turkey and Syria reportedly agreed in 2003 to demine their common border.[15] Turkey’s President ratified Law No. 5903 on the demining of minefields along the Syrian border on 16 June 2009, giving both the lead role as well as the responsibility for inviting tenders for demining to the Ministry of National Defense. If this process did not work, the Ministry of Finance would have the minefields cleared by means of “service procurement.” If this method also failed, the law said the government would invite companies to tender for demining in exchange for the right to cultivate lands suitable for agriculture for up to 44 years.[16]

The law also provided for the possibility of “requesting the services of the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency” (NAMSA).[17] Turkey said in June 2011 that it had concluded a “sales agreement” with NAMSA providing for quality management and technical support.[18] A NAMSA advisor in Ankara provided technical support on such issues as tendering procedures and contract management.[19] Officials told the Monitor in March 2013 that NAMSA was no longer involved in the tender process, but it would conduct quality control and assurance after clearance was completed.[20]

Turkey announced in 2011 that tenders would be invited for clearance of the 911km-long Syrian border, divided into six separate areas, with a total mined area of 212km2 (larger than the area subsequently reported in its Article 5 deadline extension request).[21] The government had initially planned for a deadline of June 2011 for tenders with a view to starting clearance in 2011.[22]

However, Turkey told the Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2012 that bids would be submitted only by 15 June 2012 for the first Syrian border clearance project, involving a 527km stretch between Cizre and Çobanbey. Clearance would continue until 2016. Bidding for the second Syrian border project, involving 384km of border between Çobanbey and Denizgören, would begin only after “validation of the contract” for the first section. Clearance of the second section would continue until the end of 2016.[23] Eleven demining companies reportedly bid for the first project but, in July 2013, the Ministry of National Defence canceled tenders for clearing the border because of developments in Syria[24] and as of May 2014 had not provided any information on future prospects for clearance in the area.

Turkey’s Article 5 extension request also sets out plans for a three-phase clearance of its eastern and southeastern borders, starting with the Armenian border and working south to the border with Iraq. It said that work would start before the end of 2014 and last for two years, although a table of the timelines showed the first two phases continuing through 2017 and the third phase being completed in 2018.[25]

Land Release

Turkey did not record any land release in 2012, neither has it provided any information for the year 2013, although its Article 7 report for 2013 indicates that clearance activities did take place.

In its 2013 extension request, Turkey indicated that since activities began 1.15km2 had been released along the Syrian border through clearance destroying 760 antipersonnel mines and 974 antivehicle mines. This amounts to less than 1% of the area currently identified as mined along the border with Syria. No land release has been reported in either the interior mined areas or in other border areas, although a total of 24,287 antipersonnel mines had been destroyed. Demining has seemingly been limited to ensuring safe passage for military personnel.[26]

Mine clearance in 2013

Turkey’s Article 7 transparency report for 2013 recorded 2,248 mines had been destroyed during the year—a substantial increase in the number of mines destroyed compared with 2012 (685) and 2011 (244), bringing the total number of mines destroyed in mined areas since the start of demining in 2004 to 28,269.

Progress in destruction of mines in mined areas in 2012–13[27]


Mines remaining by end 2012

Mines remaining by end 2013

Mines destroyed in 2013

Syrian border




Iraqi border




Iranian border




Armenian border




Azerbaijani border




Interior areas








Article 5 Compliance

Under its original Article 5 deadline, Turkey was required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2014. At the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in December 2011, Turkey disclosed that clearance of its border with Syria would not be completed until 2016. In 2012, it acknowledged to the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties that it would seek an extension to its deadline.[28]

Turkey submitted a request in March 2013 asking for an eight-year extension until 2022, but also said this was “provisional” and only an “initial estimate” of the time needed.[29] It cited delays in setting up a national mine action authority, inconvenient weather, and insecurity among factors that had obstructed progress. But it also revealed that in the nine years since acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty, Turkey had only cleared a total of 1.15km² of mined area, three-quarters of it in one year (2011). In addition, military teams had cleared 24,287 mines, but only to allow safe movement of troops, not to release an area of contamination.[30]

The request provided the most comprehensive statement yet of Turkey’s mine contamination and its plans to tackle them, but shed no light on some key issues, thereby creating uncertainty over the prospects for fulfilling its clearance obligations. No budget has been allocated for clearance of mined areas inside the country, which have caused most of Turkey’s mine casualties. Clearance was expected to start after setting up a mine action authority and center, but, four years after first announcing plans for these institutions, there has been no indication as to when they would become operational.

Other factors indicating risk that clearance may not occur by 2022 include delays and lack of transparency in processing tenders and awarding contracts. By the time it submitted the request, four years had lapsed since Turkey passed Law No. 5903 on demining minefields on the Syrian border; two years had passed since it first drew up a short list of companies for the work; and a year had passed since it took selected companies to the border to conduct a survey. Nonetheless, the extension request offered no clarity on when the process will conclude and work can start, except that the government expected contracts to be awarded “soon.” As of May 2014, there was still no news as to when—or indeed if—any contracts will be awarded. Overall, as the ICBL has remarked: “the country has made little progress in addressing its mine contamination and has not begun clearance of areas with the greatest impact on local communities inside the country, or areas with militarily strategic significance.”[31]

To meet its treaty requirements regarding areas under its jurisdiction or control, Turkey also needs to set out and implement plans for clearance of affected areas in northern Cyprus. Turkish forces are in effective control of the areas.

Support for Mine Action

In 1998–2012, Turkey has reported contributing almost 63.2 million Turkish lira (equivalent to approximately US$30 million) to its own mine clearance efforts.[32] Turkey has not reported the amount contributed in 2013.

In its March 2013 extension request, Turkey estimated the budget needed for the three phases of its clearance plan for the border areas in 2015–18 as totaling almost €68.7 million, of which two thirds of the first two phases would be covered by the European Union under the “Pre-accession Financial Assistance Scheme.”[33]

Turkey has not allocated national funding for clearance of other mined areas, due to be undertaken in 2015–2022, although it has estimated a budget of at least €5.3 million for this work.[34]


·         Turkey should prioritize clearance of areas where mine incidents are occurring. Clearance in these areas should not depend upon clearance of the border with Syria.

·         Turkey should push ahead with the administrative and structural processes needed to accelerate mine clearance in the country, and not wait until 2015.

·         Turkey should urgently overcome delays in the establishment of a Mine Action Authority and a Mine Action Center.

·         Turkey should overcome persistent delays in its tendering process for mined areas on the Syrian border and provide an update to States Parties on its progress.

·         Turkey should report its clearance efforts more fully and present a budget for the clearance work to States Parties.


[1] See “Mine Action Program Performance” for more information on performance indicators.

[2] Statement of Turkey, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 26 April 2007.

[3] Statement of Turkey, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 23 May 2012; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 29 March 2013, p. 1.

[5] Ibid., pp. 6 and 11–12. The tables on pages 1112 report 1,265 mined areas on the Syrian border, covering 189km².

[6] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Elif Comoglu Ulgen, then-Head, Disarmament and Arms Control Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 2008.

[7] Email from Brian Kelly, Spokesperson, UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus Headquarters, 25 April 2002; and interview with Brian Kelly, UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus Headquarters, Nicosia, 28 March 2002.

[8] Statement of Cyprus, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 21 June 2011.

[11] Ibid.

[12] ICBL interview with Serhan Yigit, Head, Arms Control and Disarmament Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ankara, 4 March 2013.

[13] Statement of Turkey, Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2011.

[14] ICBL interview with Ömer Burhan Tüzel, Serhan Yiğit, and Ramazan Ercan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Abdullah Özbek, Ministry of Interior, Ankara, 5 May 2011.

[15] Ali M. Koknar, “Turkey Moves Forward to Demine Upper Mesopotamia,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 8.2, November 2004.

[17] Statement of Turkey, Standing Committee on Mine Action, Geneva, 22 June 2010.

[18] Statement of Turkey, Standing Committee on Mine Action, Geneva, 23 June 2011.

[19] Interview with Huseyin Yurekli, Project Officer, Ministry of National Defense, in Geneva, 22 June 2011.

[20] ICBL interview with Serhan Yigit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ankara, 4 March 2013.

[22] Interview with Ömer Burhan Tüzel, Serhan Yiğit, and Ramazan Ercan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Abdullah Özbek, Ministry of Interior, Ankara, 5 May 2011.

[23] Statement of Turkey, Standing Committee on Mine Action, Geneva, 23 May 2012.

[24]Turkey cancels tender for demining border with Syria,” Azerbaijan Press Agency, 3 July 2013. Bidders for the contract reportedly included a joint venture between the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action and Azairtechservise, Aardvak, Countermine, the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action, Croatian Mine Action Center, Mechem, Minetech, the Olive Group, RONCO Corporation, and UXB International.

[26] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 29 March 2013, p. 8. In addition, mine accidents have occurred in areas previously claimed to have been cleared (see, for example, the incident on 1 May 2013 in the Iğdır region near the border with Armenia that killed two military personnel: One million landmines pose risks for Kurdish comeback,” Hurriyet Daily News, 4 May 2013).

[28] Statement of Turkey, Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011; and statement of Turkey, Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012.

[30] Ibid, p. 8.

[31] ICBL, “Spotlight on Turkey,” 19 February 2014.

[33] Ibid, pp. 15 and 17.

[34] Ibid, p. 18.

Last Updated: 02 December 2014

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Action points based on findings

·         Make adequate prosthetic and rehabilitation facilities a priority in the mine-affected regions.

·         Begin coordination of victim assistance obligations with the input of the General Directorate of Services for the Disabled and Elderly in the Ministry of Family and Social Policies.

·         There is a need for planning and coordination of victim assistance in accordance with Mine Ban Treaty Maputo Action Plan commitments.

Victim assistance commitments

Turkey is responsible for landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors. Turkey has made a commitment to victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty.

Casualties Overview

All known casualties

6,360 (1,269 killed; 5,091 injured) in the period 1984 to 2010

Casualties in 2013

23 (2012: 69)

2013 casualties by outcome

8 killed; 15 injured (2012: 24 killed; 45 injured)

2013 casualties by device type

16 mine; 6 ERW; 1 unknown explosive devices

Monitor analysis of media reports collected by the Initiative for a Mine-Free Turkey (IMFT) identified at least 23 new casualties in 2012 due to mines (possibly including victim-activated improvised explosive devices, IEDs) and also due to ERW in Turkey. Of the total, 22 were civilians; half of civilian casualties were children (11: six boys and the others of unknown sex). One recorded casualty was security personnel.[1] The 2013 total represented a significant decrease from the 69 new casualties identified in Turkey from IMFT reporting in 2012.[2]

Included in the total for 2013 were six mine casualties from Syria (two killed and four injured) in incidents in the Turkish border minefields while crossing from Syria to Turkey. Eight casualties among people fleeing from Syria to Turkey were recorded in 2012.

As of November 2014, at least nine casualties were reported in the border minefields, making up almost half of the total casualties recorded in the first 11 months of the year (19). As in 2013, all were reported to be civilians, with three civilians killed and another six injured by landmines at the Turkish-Syrian border while escaping from the conflict in Syria. At least four of the Syrian casualties in 2014 were children.[3]

Initial emergency medical care for the injured who survive is provided in the Suruç Public Hospital. Depending on their medical needs, they may also be transferred to the Şanlıurfa Mehmet Akif İnan Training and Research Hospital. The exact number of people killed and injured by landmines on the border minefields was not known due to a lack of accurate reporting. According to one of the doctors in the Suruç Public Hospital’s Department of General Surgery, “The mine incidents are reported in the hospital records as ‘wound due to firearms’…Still, I can say that the number of incidents and victims is much greater than the numbers mentioned in the press.”[4] One media article in October 2014 reported that more than 10 people had been recently injured crossing the border minefields in Turkey.[5]

The government of Turkey reported that there were eight casualties (two killed; six injured) in 2013.[6] This represented a significant decrease from the 82 mine casualties Turkey reported for 2012.[7] These casualties are believed to be military personnel. No specific details on civilian status, sex, or age were provided in the reporting.

In its Article 5 deadline Extension Request of March 2013, Turkey provided information on antipersonnel mine casualties occurring between 2004 and the end of 2012: 882 military personnel (260 killed; 622 injured) and 168 civilians (56 killed; 112 injured). Turkey also included disaggregated information on the age and sex of civilian casualties for a similar time period (10 years); of the total civilian casualties reported, 15 were female and 50 were children.[8] In contrast, Monitor reporting, which included IMFT data for the period from 2004 to the end of 2012, counted more than twice the number of civilian mine/ERW casualties; 377 civilian casualties of 979 casualties recorded in total.

The total number of mine/IED and ERW casualties in Turkey is unknown. Turkey had reported 4,271 mine/ERW casualties, including 871 people killed and 3,400 injured, as of the end of 2012.[9] However, according to a media report in April 2010, the Ministry of Internal Affairs had recorded 6,360 mine casualties since 1984; 1,269 people were killed (625 security personnel; 644 civilians) and another 5,091 people were injured (with the number of civilians compared to security personnel injured not reported) in mine incidents.[10] In 2007, a demining specialist reported at least 10,000 mine casualties (mostly civilians) along the Turkish-Syrian border since the 1950s (more than 3,000 killed and 7,000 injured).[11]

Victim Assistance

More than 5,000 people were reported to have been injured by mines in Turkey since 1984.[12]

Victim assistance in 2013

No significant changes in the accessibility or quality of services were reported for 2013. Mine/ERW survivors and persons with disabilities in affected areas did not have access to the same level of services as other persons with disabilities in larger cities in Turkey.[13]

Assessing victim assistance needs

No efforts to assess the needs of mine/ERW survivors in Turkey were reported in 2013. There was no system in place to collect data on mine survivors or their needs. The IMFT collected the most comprehensive information available through media scanning and crosschecking with other organizations and local sources.

The European Commission (EC) continued to report that a lack of broader data and research on persons with disabilities remained a barrier to informed policymaking in Turkey.[14]

The Diyarbakir Lawyer’s Bar Association and the Human Rights Association collected information on mine/ERW casualties in the affected regions; information collected included details on the needs of the survivors and families.[15]

In 2006, Turkey had reported that it was initiating a program of transition to an international injury classification system that would include mines and ERW.[16] No further progress on this transition was reported as of end 2013.

Victim assistance coordination

Government coordinating body/focal point

Disabled and Senior Citizens Directorate General, Ministry of Family and Social Policies

Coordinating mechanism(s)




The Ministry of Family and Social Policies through its Disabled and Senior Citizens Directorate General is the government entity responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.[17] Turkey has never had government victim assistance coordination.

A delegation of the ICBL and IMFT discussed victim assistance with a Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Family and Social Policy in March 2013, underlining Turkey’s victim assistance commitments, the links with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the related responsibilities of the ministry. The Deputy Undersecretary agreed that the role of victim assistance focal point fitted with the work of the ministry’s department of persons with disabilities and also the social welfare department, which is responsible for pensions and other payments.[18]

Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reporting on victim assistance is updated annually by Turkey but only covers treatment received by survivors at military medical facilities. Article 7 (and Convention on Conventional Weapons Article 13) reporting did not include information on services available to civilian mine/ERW survivors at civilian facilities, or on survivors injured in previous years.[19] Turkey did not make statements on victim assistance at the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in 2013 or at the Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference in Maputo.

Survivor inclusion and participation

Survivors reported that they were not included in the planning or implementation of services relevant to their needs.[20] The Disabled and Senior Citizens Directorate General had not engaged survivors and was not familiar with the issue of victim assistance or specific needs in mine affected areas.[21]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[22]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Dicle University Research Hospital, Diyarbakir


Orthopedics and traumatology center and the prosthetic center provided civilian survivors with prostheses free of charge

Gulhane Military Medical Academy and the Turkish Armed Forces Rehabilitation and Care Center (TAF-RCC)


Specialized facilities assist people wounded by weapons with high-quality services: rehabilitation, economic and social inclusion, and psychological support

IMFT/Turkish mine/ERW Survivor Network


Advocacy and assistance to individual survivors and peer support

Emergency and ongoing medical care

A study of examples of surgical intervention after mine injures of varying severities by the Medical Association Diyarbakir emphasized the time-sensitivity of emergency medical care; the study emphasized that longer intervals between injury and surgery corresponded to more severe levels of amputation. Among the study group, the average time to receive first medical care was nine hours; 13 of 186 survivors recorded in the study died due to infection.[23]

All persons with disabilities have the right to access the free first-aid services at public and private healthcare centers. Those without social insurance can apply for a special “green card” to be eligible for services. However, in practice those persons with disabilities eligible for the green card medical insurance still contributed to part of their medical expenses, eliminating the availability of free services.[24] Regulations in the Healthcare Application Notice, issued by the Social Security Organization of Turkey, restricted access to medicines, equipment, and mobility devices for persons with disabilities, even when deemed necessary by medical professionals.[25]

Healthcare facilities in towns in the mine-affected region (other than the largest cities) are underfunded, have inadequate staff levels and equipment, and often were not able to address survivors’ emergencies or ongoing medical needs.[26]

Physical rehabilitation, including prosthetics

There was a significant need for prosthetics and rehabilitation services to be established in other mine/ERW-affected provinces. There was also a need to establish facilities that could address the needs of child survivors. Holders of the green card could only apply for new prostheses every five years. This was detrimental to the rehabilitation of child mine/ERW survivors who require frequent replacements while growing.[27]

The Dicle University Research Hospital prosthetics center was the only such center for all mine-affected regions. By early 2013, it was still open but had effectively ceased to operate; this eliminated the only free option for prosthetics for civilian mine/ERW survivors. Use of the facility declined in 2008 when it began to provide services only to those having the state-provided green cards for the disadvantaged. In addition, the lack of assistance for transportation or accommodation expenses for survivors coming to the center from distant provinces limited access.[28]

In the absence of a free rehabilitation center, in order obtain prostheses mine/ERW survivors and other persons with disabilities face complicated procedures to apply for poor quality prosthetics available through the national health system. Even this assistance is out of reach to many mine/ERW survivors due to the geographical distance and their poverty levels.[29]

Laws and policies

Civilian survivors could apply for compensation through Law 5233, the Law on the Compensation of Damages that Occurred due to Terror and the Fight Against Terrorism. The Diyarbakir Lawyers’ Bar Association continued to help mine/ERW survivors access benefits to which they were entitled, such as compensation under Law 5233, and to promote victim assistance. Survivors have called for a review of the compensation process to ensure timely and appropriate outcomes.[30]

A need for specific policies to address the social support needs of child mine/ERW survivors was identified in 2009.[31] No progress was reported by the end of 2013. Children with disabilities faced difficulties in accessing affordable and inclusive education services. The monitoring, evaluation, and inspection of private special education and rehabilitation services required particular attention.[32]

The constitution permits positive discrimination for persons with disabilities, although the principle is not adequately reflected in policy measures. Legislation prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in access to healthcare, employment, education, transportation, and in the provision of state services; however, the law was not enforced effectively.[33] People with disabilities continued to face serious difficulties in accessing employment in the private sector, though there is a limited upward trend in the public sector. Turkey lacked a comprehensive strategy to fund commitments to create physical accessibility. Physical barriers to public buildings and all relevant facilities still existed. Deadlines for public institutions’ mandatory compliance to provide accessible services were extended or postponed. [34] In 2013, Diyarbakir, the largest city in the mine-affected regions, became increasingly physically accessible due to the work of local disabled persons organizations and the local government.[35]

Turkey ratified the CRPD on 28 September 2009.[36] However, in 2012 Turkey had not yet established a national mechanism for monitoring implementation of the CRPD and its optional protocol.[37]


[1] Email from Muteber Öğreten, Coordinator, IMFT, 4 May 2014.

[2] Email from Muteber Öğreten, IMFT, 28 March 2013.

[3] Casualty data from media scanning for January to September 2014. Sent by email from Muteber Öğreten, IMFT, 25 November 2014.

[4] Interview with Reşit Doğru, Chairperson of Suruç Branch of the Trade Union for Public Employees in the Health Sector, Suruç, 18 November 2014.

[5]Las minas se pusieron para aislar a los kurdos” (“The mines were placed to isolate the Kurds”), El Mundo, 2 October 2014.

[6] These casualties were reported as “Casulities [sic] by Explosion of APMs [antipersonnel mines] Laid by PKK/Kongra Gel Terrorist Organization,” and lacked information on the means of activation and other details. Data is therefore considered to be insufficient to determine if it fits within the Monitor casualty definition and thus has not been included in 2013 casualty totals. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form J.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for calendar years 2006–2011), Form J; response to Monitor questionnaire by the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN in Geneva, 31 August 2005; and presentation of Turkey, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 13 May 2003.

[10] Melik Duvaklı, “Türkiye, 26 yılda 1.269 canını mayına kurban verdi” (“Turkey, in 26 years 1,269 lives victimized by mines”), Zaman, 13 April 2010.

[11] Email from Ali M. Koknar, President, AMK Risk Management, 5 July 2007; and Ali M. Koknar, AMK Risk Management, “Turkey Moves Forward to Demine Upper Mesopotamia,” Journal of Mine Action, No. 8, 2 November 2004.

[12] Melik Duvaklı, “Türkiye, 26 yılda 1.269 canını mayına kurban verdi” (“Turkey, in 26 years 1,269 lives victimized by mines”), Zaman, 13 April 2010.

[13] Presentation by Ramazan Serin, Local Agenda 21, Disability Department, Diyarbakır, 2 March 2013.

[14] EC, “Turkey 2012 Progress Report,” Commission Staff Working Document, Brussels, 10 October 2012, p. 73.

[15] Interview with Mehmed Emin Aktar, Head, Diyarbakır Bar Association, Diyarbakır, 25 April 2011; and interview with M. Raci Bilici, Secretary, Human Rights Association, Diyarbakır Branch, Diyarbakır, 24 April 2011.

[16] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2006), Form J, 23 April 2007. This referred to the system: “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems: ICD-10.”

[17] United States (US) Department of State, “2013 Human Rights Report: Turkey,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014.

[18] Interview with Gazi Alatas, Ministry of Family and Social Policy, 4 March 2013.

[20] Monitor notes from Workshop of the Turkish Mine/ERW Victims’ Network, Diyarbakır, 23 April 2011.

[21] Interview with Gazi Alatas, Ministry of Family and Social Policy, 4 March 2013.

[22] Interviews with Ramazan Serin, Local Agenda 21, Diyarbakır, 24 April 2011, and 3 March 2013; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form J.

[23] Cengiz Gülay, Medical Association Diyarbakir, “A Study of Traumatic Injuries to Mine Victims,” Presentation, Diyarbakır, 2 March 2013.

[24] Email from Ergün Işeri, then-General Director, Disabled People’s Foundation, 26 March 2009.

[25] Email from Ergün Işeri, General Manager, Association of Persons with Disabilities of Turkey, 16 May 2011.

[26] Interview with Ayse Gokkan, Mayor of Nusaiybin, Nusaiybin, 25 April 2011; and interview with Omer Ay, Turkish Victims’ Network, Nusaiybin, 25 April 2011.

[27] Interview with Ramazan Serin, Local Agenda 21, Diyarbakır, 3 March 2013.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Notes during Monitor Mission, Diyarbakır, 2 March 2013.

[31] Presentation by Dr. Muhammet Can, University of Yuzuncu Yil, Turkey’s First Review Conference, Diyarbakır, 18 October 2009.

[32] EC, “Turkey 2013 Progress Report,” (extract from the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council “Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2013–2014”) COM(2013)700 final, p. 58.

[33] US Department of State, “2013 Human Rights Report: Turkey,” Washington, DC, 27 April 2014; and EC, “Turkey 2012 Progress Report,” Commission Staff Working Document, Brussels, 10 October 2012, pp. 28–29.

[34] EC, “Turkey 2013 Progress Report,” (extract from the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council “Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2013–2014”) COM(2013)700 final, p. 58; and EC, “Turkey 2012 Progress Report,” Commission Staff Working Document, Brussels, 10 October 2012, pp. 28–29.

[35] Ethem Cagir, “Diyarbakir works to be friendly to the disabled,” SET Times, 5 June 2013.

[36] Ratification of the CRPD was approved by the Turkish Parliament on 3 December 2008.

[37] EC, “Turkey 2012 Progress Report,” Commission Staff Working Document, Brussels, 10 October 2012, pp. 28–29.