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Erdogan: Turkey committed to strengthen judiciary

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said Turkey is committed to strengthening the functioning of an independent and impartial judiciary.

"We are determined to strengthen the functioning of an independent and impartial judiciary in real terms which sets goals for the continuation of unity and peace for the people," Erdogan said in a statement, ahead of the new judicial year on Monday.

Recalling the events of the coup bid, Erdogan said Turkey had witnessed in recent history how a terrorist organization "used judiciary as a tool for its own dark motives".


Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.


"All members of the judiciary must always choose the side of the rule of law," Erdogan said.

He added that the presidential system will contribute to the development, strengthening, independence and impartiality of the judiciary.

"Throughout history, our people have built many strong states, famous for their justice,” Erdogan said.

The president also remembered prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz and other members of the judiciary who were martyred.

Kiraz was martyred on March 31, 2015 after being taken as hostage in his office at Istanbul’s Caglayan Courthouse by two far-left DHKP-C terrorists, who had gained access to the building by posing as lawyers.

After hours of negotiations between Turkish police and the two hostage-takers, Kiraz was shot in the head by his captors and later died.