In view of the mountain of evidence pointing to forgery in the Sledgehammer case, it is amazing that we can still read this from a leading Turkish intellectual Etyen Mahçupyan, who writes for the Gulenist daily Today’s Zaman:
“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan first learned about the Sledgehammer coup plan in 2004 ….”
Erdoğan knew about the Sledgehammer plan in 2004? Was he able to travel back and forth through time perhaps? Or did he have special powers with which he could read the future?
Mahçupyan and others who believe in the authenticity of the Sledgehammer plan are apparently unfazed by the countless anachronisms in the documents or the evidence that their metadata have been manipulated. They seem to believe that all these inconsistencies can be explained by vague references to the “updating” of coup plans over time.
Yet the updating argument does not withstand the simplest scrutiny. Consider the core evidence in the case, the Sledgehammer Action Plan itself. This is an 11-page Word document dated December 2002. According to its metadata, it was last saved on December 2nd, 2002. It looks like this:
What Arsenal and subsequently a Turkish team uncovered is that this document contains references to a font (Calibri) that was first introduced in 2006, and hence that the document could not have been produced in 2002. To see the reference to Calibri, one needs to use a forensic tool or special software like WinHex.
Here is what the document looks like when examined with WinHex:
The answer is that it cannot. The plan described in the document pertains to 2002. There is no shred of indication that anything on this document purportedly dated December 2002 was updated — except for the Calibri font reference that crept in unintentionally as a result of the forgers apparently having worked with MS Office 2007 at some point during its preparation. (Calibri became the default font for Word 2007 once it was introduced, which seems to be the reason documents can carry a reference to it even when they are not used in actual text.)
The forgers were careful to change the system clock back to 2002 before saving the document with an earlier version of Word (not Word 2007). They also were careful to put the name of the 1st Army chief in 2002 on the document. Some updating!
We can give many, many such examples that make clear the updating argument makes no sense. But it seems to make no difference. People like Mahçupyan are so convinced of the authenticity of Sledgehammer that no amount of evidence will shake their faith.