Türkiye's National Mine Action Center has cleared nearly 45 million square meters. / Photo: AA Archive

Türkiye has cleared nearly 45 million square metres of landmines since 2015, according to defence sources.

A total of 226,000 mines have been destroyed over the past nine years as part of humanitarian demining operations coordinated by the Turkish National Defence Ministry’s National Mine Action Center (MAFAM), according to information obtained from ministry sources.

Meanwhile, mines released during the Russia-Ukraine war continue to pose a threat to maritime traffic in the Black Sea.

Routes followed by drifting mines are determined based on a Turkish Naval Forces data analysis, and mine surveillance is carried out on a 24/7 basis.

Mine disposal activities involve maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, mine-hunting ships, and patrol vessels.

So far, the Turkish Naval Forces have detected and destroyed five mines in the Black Sea.

Close coordination with Bulgaria, Romania

All such maritime activities are carried out in close coordination with allied countries Bulgaria and Romania under the principle of regional ownership.

For the security of the Istanbul Strait, surveillance has been conducted 24/7, with at least two ships in the area since March 2022.

Mine surveillance activities involve warships, maritime patrol aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, and the Black Sea Surveillance Coordination Center.

Since 2015, the centre has been working to raise awareness of the risks of anti-personnel landmines, which can cause injuries or fatalities to people living in areas with high mine risk or proximity to regions mined in Türkiye.

TRT World