What is the project about?
Border management is regarded as being one of the most priority areas of EU Accession process for Turkey. After the membership to the EU, as Turkey’s eastern borders will be the external borders of the Union, management of a comprehensive border security and its implementation constitutes an important subject. However, management of the eastern borders is not an easy task due to geographical and climate conditions of Turkey in that region. For the time being the land mines in the region constitute a very serious threat for border management. To respond this challenge “Socioeconomic Development through Demining and Increasing the Border Surveillance Capacity at the Eastern Borders of Turkey” project was developed in 2014. The project, which is funded by the European Union, is the first partnership of UNDP in Turkey with the Ministry of National Defense, Turkish General Staff and Ministry of Interior in the field of mine clearance.
What has been the situation?
The land mines were laid along the borders to prevent illegal movements or smuggling activities or for security challenges. In addition to humanitarian concerns, these landmines limit the operational capacity of Turkey in the border areas. They prevent the establishment of good functioning border surveillance systems and as a result lead to a decrease in the efficiency in the fight against illegal movements, cross-border crimes and smuggling. For these reasons, demining is evaluated as an indispensable part of the border management reforms. Turkey targets to have these landmines cleared to provide a more secure way of protecting the borders by means of technologically supported border surveillance systems and achieve the targets set out by European Union for a good functioning border management system.
The overall objective of the Project is to contribute to the social and economic development through demining and more secure borders in Eastern Turkey. The specific objective of the project is to contribute to the prevention of illegal migration and all types of cross-border crimes at Turkey’s Eastern borders in line with EU’s Integrated Border Management (IBM) policies and strategies via de-mining the area and providing effective and humanitarian border surveillance tools for a technologically supported modern border surveillance system.
Turkish Government has been active in mine action since 1996 and established National Mine Action Centre (TURMAC) under the Ministry of National Defense on 3 February 2015 by Law 6586. TURMAC, which became operational as of 27 July 2015, is the key beneficiary of this project.
The Border Management Bureau of the Ministry of Interior is also a beneficiary to the project. The Border Management Bureau was established on 15 October 2008. The Bureau is responsible for carrying out studies for legislative and administrative structure of IBM, preparing of assessment and needs analysis on IBM, carrying out IBM projects, working on the establishment of a new border security unit, organizing External Borders Task Force with the participation of institutions responsible for border surveillance and control on a monthly-basis. With a decree of the Minister of Interior, the Border Management Bureau is now affiliated to the Provincial Administration General Directorate of the Ministry of Interior, with a change in its name as “Border Management Department”.
The final beneficiary for the action includes all persons impacted by the presence of landmines on the Eastern Borders of Turkey, including the civilian population, security forces and government personnel engaged in IBM activities.
What is our mission?
UNDP Turkey's strategy for 2016-2020, formulated with and agreed by the Turkish Government, highlights three core areas, through which UNDP supports the implementation of Turkey's development agenda through project implementation and policy advice. These are: 1) capacity building for democratic governance; 2) action and advocacy for poverty reduction; and 3) environment and sustainable development. In addition to these core areas, UNDP Turkey is emphasizing the role of women, private sector, capacity development and information and communication technology in its policies and programmes.
With the latest changes in the global arena and in Turkey, UNDP Turkey has repositioned itself to be in line with the new UNDP Strategic Plan 2016-2020, changing needs of Turkey and Tenth National Development Plan, in order to target development challenges and priorities of the country.
UNDP Turkey has repositioned to contribute through three core areas: 1) Inclusive and Democratic Governance (IDG); 2) Inclusive and Sustainable Growth (ISG); and 3) Climate Change and Environment (CCE); and in addition to these core areas, UNDP Turkey is emphasizing the role of Strategic Partnerships that cut across the entire country programme as well as regionally and globally.
Under the IDG Portfolio, Technical Assistance for Socioeconomic Development through Demining and Increasing the Border Surveillance Capacity at the Eastern Borders of Turkey Phase-II is being implemented.
The objective of the project is to contribute to the social and economic development through demining and more secure borders in eastern Turkey by clearing the border regions of mines and providing effective humanitarian border surveillance tools.
The project will not only pave the way for a good functioning technologically supported border management system but also contribute to the prevention of illegal migration and cross-border crime on Turkey’s eastern borders.
How are we doing this?
The Project is composed of 2 components:
- Clearance of mined areas: This component covers demining activities, including the quality assurance/quality control and post-clearance certification in line with the international and national standards.
- Institutional capacity enhancement on border management: This component focuses on further development of a regulatory framework for the TURMAC as well as risk analysis system for Turkey’s IBMS in support of strengthened institutional capacity on border management, including providing training to government and military officials.
How will Turkey benefit?
- The demined areas will be certified in compliance with the international and national standards for the establishment of effective and humanitarian border surveillance systems,
- The capacity and professional competency of Turkish Mine Action Center are being improved,
- The institutional capacity on Integrated Border Management is enhanced.
What have we accomplished so far?
- There has been significant progress in institutional capacity building on border management. More than 500 personnel from TURMAC, Land Forces and MoI were trained through formal capacity development activities focusing on mine action and IBM topics.
- The demining operations will start in mid-March 2018.