Armed and unarmed drones have been effectively used for the last five years in clamping down on terrorists and they have contributed to the killing of around 3,000 terrorists so far.
With Turkey using domestically produced drones, a new dimension has been added to the fight against terrorism. The armed drones are capable of hitting targets at high altitudes with guided missiles. No soldier has died or been injured in the countless operations conducted with drones.
Turkey is among only six countries that produce their own drones. Government officials have said that Turkey is competing with the world's best in drone production with its advanced technology.
In recent years the drones have added muscle to Turkey's counterterror operations in rural areas of provinces in the country's east and southeast.
As of today, the drones have flown over 24,500 hours and directly or indirectly contributed to the killing of 3,000 terrorists. While unarmed drones have been effective for surveillance purposes, armed drones have been used in pinpoint operations.
The drones produced by Turkish engineers can conduct target-tracing for 24 hours and enable immediate determining of new targets. The drones can also provide air surveillance support to the operations of other security forces in line with their requests.
The rate of taking down aerial drones is low because they leave very small radar traces and their size is relatively small. Compared to the other aerial vehicles, drones cannot be detected easily.
The use of drones has restricted the mobility of terrorists and they have broken their operational capabilities. The geographical advantages once used by terrorists to hide have been erased with the drones.
Turkish officials have stated that the drones are effectively used in search and rescue operations, in the protection of state officials and in providing security for meetings and demonstrations.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu recently stressed the significant role of drones as well. Solyu said that terrorists in Turkey's east and southeast have started to move in small groups of two to five instead of in larger numbers like they did before the drones were a factor.
Likewise, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli also said recently that Ankara will continue to use drones in operations against terrorists.
Canikli said that the domestic production of some equipment in the defense industry has increased over 65 percent. He added that the effective use of the new drones have been targeted by some who directly or indirectly support the terrorist groups in Turkey.
Commenting on recent criticism against the use of armed drones, Canikli said that it is unacceptable to support terrorism under the pretext of human rights.
Republican People's Party's (CHP) Istanbul Deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu claimed that innocent civilians have been killed in drone operations. However, the Turkish General Staff immediately claimed in a written statement that no civilians had been killed or harmed in operations conducted against terrorists.