Two important articles were published last week on Turkey, both of them making amply clear that the Sledgehammer case is based on fabricated documents.
The first one, a long piece in the New Yorker by Dexter Filkins, doesn’t mince words as to what he calls the “dark side” of Erdogan’s Turkey’.
“[Erdogan is conducting] an increasingly harsh campaign to crush domestic opposition. In the past five years, more than seven hundred people have been arrested, including generals, admirals, members of parliament, newspaper editors and other journalists, owners of television networks, directors of charitable organizations, and university officials.”
(See also this blog entry by Filkins on Turkey’s jailes journalists.)
With regard to the Sledgehammer coup plot, this is what Filkins writes:
“a number of experts have raised serious questions about the authenticity of the case, contending that the Sledgehammer prosecution is a politically motivated effort to neutralize the military. The most troubling aspect is evidence suggesting that the Sledgehammer plan was prepared long after the March, 2003, war game took place. One section of the plan lists a number of hospitals to be seized once the coup is under way, among them an institution in Istanbul called Medical Park Sultangazi. The hospital did not acquire that name until June, 2008, when it was bought by the Medical Park group—five years after the so-called coup discussions took place. Before that, it was called Sultan Hospital. The Sledgehammer plan also lists a number of vehicles to be seized, including a Range Rover Freelander with the license plate 16 BEB 33. Public documents show that that license plate was not issued until 2006. “It’s absolutely clear that these documents have been forged,” the researcher Gareth Jenkins told me.”
Gareth Jenkins himself has a characteristically well-informed new article on Turkey’s special courts. On Sledgehammer, Jenkins writes:
“What is undoubted that is that the documents on which the prosecutors have based their accusations are not just forgeries but very poor forgeries. They are riddled with absurdities and anachronisms, ranging from references to events that took place years after the “coup plans” were allegedly written to references to meetings with people who were already long dead.”
As Jenkins writes, evidence used by specially authorized prosecutors “has sometimes not only been fabricated but planted in the homes and offices of the accused.”
Unfortunately, these days it is only foreign journalists and analysts who are able to express the evident truth about what the Sledgehammer and other trials are really about.