The mined terrain along Turkey's Syrian border contains oil and other natural resources, according to Turkish officials Hurriyetdailynews reported.
The Sub-regional Preparations Project for mine clearance along the Syrian border, where mines were placed 60 years ago due to security issues, will be completed in one month, Sadrettin Karahocagil, President of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration under the Ministry of Development, said Jan. 26. He noted that they have been working on models for how to use the terrain after the mines are cleared.
"This region has considerable natural and cultural heritage as well as areas to be used for energy. There are resources for oil and natural gas production. A method for exploiting the cleared terrain regarding all finds will be elaborated on and announced to the public," Karahocagil said, adding that mine clearance falls under the jurisdiction of the National Defense Ministry.
Mehmet Ali Cullu, dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at Harran University and head of the Sub-Regional Preparations Project, said research has indicated that the mined field has great agriculture potential.
"The area's width is between 300 and 400 meters and its height is 700 kilometers. It has fields with a potential for agriculture, planting endemic plants and is of high economic value," said Çullu, adding that they presented the models for exploring the fields after mines were cleared to the Ministry of Development, which would then decide on the strategy to follow.
Karahocagil stated that mine clearance had been carried out periodically, but was interrupted due to the civil war in Syria. However, the project does not face many difficulties as they had started
groundwork before the Syrian crisis, he said, adding that the GAP Regional Development Administration has cooperated with Harran University and other educational institutions on the Sub-regional Preparations Project.