Zaman’s columnists have raised the act of making up facts as they accuse others of lying to a fine art form. The latest example comes from Markar Esayan.
Esayan accuses Umut Oran, a CHP deputy, of lying in a letter he sent to the European Parliament on the Sledgehammer case:
“Oran is trying to deceive the MEPs, implying that CDs numbered 11 and 17 are problematic in their entirety and are the sole evidence in the case. Because he did not read the indictment or has ulterior motives, Oran skipped the fact that there are 19 CDs as evidence in the case. CDs numbered 4, 5, 6, 14 and others contain the voice recordings about the coup plan as well as the PowerPoint presentation of the coup. All of the officials serving in the 1st Army confessed that these CDs are authentic, and Çetin Doğan and his lawyers did not raise any objections to this.”
This paragraph alone contains so many inaccuracies and evasions that it is hard to know where to begin.
First, CDs number 11 and 17 are indeed the only ones that contain all the coup plans – mosque bombings, jet downings and all. It is these CDs that have been determined to be forgeries, both by digital forensic analysts and because of the countless anachronisms they contain.
Second, the other CDs mentioned by Esayan are authentic, but contain nothing that pertains directly to a coup, or preparations thereof. They include various routine military documents, as well as files used in the military workshop of March 2003. None of these files mentions the Sledgehammer coup.
Third, “CDs numbered 4, 5, 6, 14 and others” do NOT contain “voice recordings of the coup plan.” The voice recordings come in fact in separate cassettes, and they are recordings of the discussions in the seminar of March 2003. These discussions make no reference to Sledgehammer or any of the other coup plans. Prosecutors have made the wild claim that the seminar was a covert dress rehearsal for the coup plans contained in CDs 11 and 17. Since those plans are forgeries, as the forensic analyses and anachronisms make amply clear, participants could not have “rehearsed” plans that never existed.
Fourth, “CDs numbered 4, 5, 6, 14 and others” do NOT contain “the PowerPoint presentation of the coup.” The PowerPoint presentation in question is the scenario used as the basis of the discussions at the military seminar. That scenario was meant to test the 1st Army’s preparedness in the face of external and domestic disturbances. It has nothing whatsoever to do with a coup.
Fifth, defendants have not “confessed” since there was nothing to confess with respect to the said CDs. The authenticity of CDs 4, 5, 6, 14, has never been in question. These CDs contain nothing incriminating, as discussed above.
We could go on with other errors in the piece, but we shall stop here. Besides the distortions and evident untruths, what is shocking in Esayan’s piece is his utter unwillingness to face up to the fact that the CDs containing the core of the Sledgehammer case – CDs 11 and 17 – are fraudulent. It seems not to matter at all to him that someone has fabricated evidence against the defendants, or that the police, prosecutors, and the court have done their best to prevent this from coming to light.
All that matters to Esayan and his fellow columnists at Zaman, apparently, is that the defendants are put away. So much for respect for the rule of law.