An outrageous article in Today’s Zaman full of deliberate distortions on the Sledgehammer case further confirms what we have been arguing all along: the Gulen movement is thoroughly implicated in the massive evidence fabrication on which the charges in the case rest. Why else would this newspaper, the mouthpiece of the movement, print an article that covers up all the evidence of forgery that has so far surfaced–and confirmed by forensic reports by American and Turkish experts– while making claims that are patently false and designed to mislead readers who are not familiar with the details of the case.
Today’s Zaman says that the military high command has provided the court with the originals of the coup plot document, and that this effectively proves the documents and the plot they describe are authentic. This is utter nonsense.
Here are the facts:
1. The documents in question, which the military high command has authenticated, have nothing to do with Sledgehammer coup plot, or the charges in the indictment. They document various intelligence gathering activities of the military on the religious leanings of army personnel and on political developments. Nowhere in these documents is there any mention of Sledgehammer, or any reference to preparations for a coup.
2. The charges in the Sledgehammer case arise from Word and other digital documents that describe in gruesome detail a plot to unseat the government. It is these documents which are the essence of the case, because without them the prosecutors have nothing to prove that the defendants were in fact preparing a coup. Today’s Zaman says nothing about these critical documents, or about the mountain of evidence that demonstrates that they are forgeries.
3. That these documents are forgeries has been conclusively established. The military high command itself has prepared several reports that say as such. The claim that the military now accept the authenticity of the coup plot documents is a flat out lie.
4. So anyone with the vaguest familiarity with the Sledgehammer indictments and the prosecutors’ charges would know that the intelligence documents which Today’s Zaman trumpets as authentic are in fact totally irrelevant to the case. You may want to criticize the military for keeping tabs on whether NCOs take their religion seriously or on electoral results, and we would be the first to do so. But to say that these activities prove the plot as authentic is a leap of logic that only someone desperate to prop up a lost cause would do.
By trying so hard to cover up the facts of the case and support what is a demonstrable legal charade, the Gulen movement is discrediting only itself.