Turkey announces it has destroyed its anti-personnel mines stockpile
Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011 – Turkey has declared that it has completed the destruction of its entire stockpile of anti-personnel mines. The announcement was made at the Eleventh Meeting of the States Parties (11MSP) to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention. Turkey has now complied with the Convention’s Article 4 stockpile destruction obligations.
“Full compliance with Article 4 is undoubtedly one of the main pillars of the Ottawa Convention,” said H.E. Serhan YIGIT of the Turkey’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noting that Turkey “had destroyed nearly 3 million mines.”
With the exception of 22,716 area denial anti-personnel mines (ADAM), Turkey destroyed its entire stockpile at the Turkish Munitions Disposal Facility. Turkey reported that these 22,716, which required special handling, were rendered unusable and then shipped to a specialised company in Germany. “I am now able to announce upon direct confirmation from the plant in Germany that the destruction of these mines has been fully completed,” said H.E. Serhan YIGIT.
H.E. PRAK Sokhnonn, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister of Cambodia and President of the 11MSP welcomed the news. “Turkey’s completion of its stockpile destruction programme shows that this landmark disarmament and humanitarian treaty works. Turkey has demonstrated a real commitment to eliminating landmines.”
According to the Convention “each State Party undertakes to destroy or ensure the destruction of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines it owns or possesses, or that are under its jurisdiction or control, as soon as possible but not later than four years after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party.”
Turkey acceded to the Convention on 25 September 2003, and the Convention entered into force for Turkey on 1 March 2004.
Belarus, Greece, and Ukraine also reported on their efforts to destroy stockpiled anti-personnel mines.
The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997, opened for signature in
Ottawa the same year and entered into force in 1999.
To date 158 states have joined the Convention with 153 of these reporting that they no longer hold stocks of anti-personnel mines. Over 44.5 million stockpiled mines have been destroyed by the States Parties.
34 of 50 States that at one time manufactured anti-personnel mines are now bound by the Convention’s ban on production. Most other parties have put in place moratoria on production and / or transfers of mines.
Demining has resulted in millions of square metres of once dangerous land being released for normal human activity.