UPDATE 2 – 4th judicial reform package to be submitted soon: Turkish president


ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's fourth judicial reform package will soon be submitted to lawmakers, the country's president said on Wednesday.

"The fourth judicial package, which constitutes a new link in our reform efforts, will be submitted to our parliament soon," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group meeting.

The fourth package will include some "very important" innovations to help the public deal with the administrative judiciary and to enhance guarantees in criminal proceedings, he said.

"Right afterwards, we will roll up our sleeves for the fifth judicial package," Erdogan added.

​​​​​​​On continuing efforts to draw up a new constitution to replace Turkey's coup-era charter, he said: "A new constitution will come out of the nation's conscience and views, and it will be the most valuable legacy that we will leave to future generations."

Erdogan declared last November that his administration would enact sweeping reforms in the economy and judiciary with new steps to raise the standards of democratic rights and freedoms.

– Attacks on Turkey through targeting interior minister

Erdogan also said he stands with Turkey’s interior minister in the fight against criminals and terrorists.

"We know that disturbances to the atmosphere of peace and trust provided in our country are behind the attacks targeting our Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. We stand with our interior minister in his fight with criminal and terrorist groups," said the president.

The target of these attacks is not our interior minister but rather efforts to build a great and powerful Turkey, said Erdogan.

"The targeting of our friend Binali Yildirim, who served as state minister, prime minister, and parliament speaker, and also served as chairman of our party, is another sign that shows the real intentions (against our country)," he said.

"We will expose this game, just as we have never accepted any attack on our country via our personality, party, or colleagues," he added.

The government will track down members of criminal gangs "wherever in the world they flee," said Erdogan.

"Our nation sees and recognizes them very well and notes down whoever is trying to carry out an operation against Turkey through the AK Party," he added.

Touting the Interior Ministry's work, Erdogan said for 19 years Turkey brought down criminal gangs one by one by taking all the means at their disposal.

"In last three-and-a-half years, nearly 750,000 suspects in drug-related crimes have been arrested in over 530,000 operations, and 85,000 of them were detained," he said.

– Unmanned warplane

Touching on Turkish technology, Erdogan said that the success of Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles in the field has produced results which require the rewriting of traditional war strategies.

Turkey’s 180 Bayraktar TB2 drones operate in four different countries, including Turkey, he said.

"Our aim is to be one of the first countries to have an entirely artificial intelligence-controlled unmanned warplane.

"We plan to fly our unmanned warplane in our skies in 2023," he added.

The Bayraktar TB2 entered the Turkish army’s inventory in 2014 and is currently used by several other countries, including Ukraine, Qatar, and Azerbaijan.

Turkey has used its cutting-edge drones effectively over the years in cross-border, anti-terror military operations, such as Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch, and Spring Shield, to liberate areas near the Syrian border from terrorist groups.