Missing Sledgehammer report in Turkish military's 'cosmic room'
ISTANBUL - Daily News with Wires | 8/5/2010 12:00:00 AM |
A missing report on a military seminar that allegedly hosted a discussion about the ‘Balyoz’ (Sledgehammer) coup plan has been found in the Turkish military’s 'cosmic room.'
A missing report about a military seminar that allegedly hosted a discussion on the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) coup plan has been found in the Turkish Army’s “cosmic room,” according to additional case files recently given to the suspects’ lawyers.
Sledgehammer prosecutors requested documents and data on the seminar from the 1st Army Command, Land Forces’ Command and the Office of the Chief of General Staff when they started the investigation in January.
The Land Forces’ Command answered the prosecutors on April 19, with the command’s legal counselor, Col. Ahmet Vurucu, saying the report was in the command’s cosmic room, where documents pertaining to top state and military secrets are archived.
Vurucu, however, said prosecutors could not see the document because it was a “government secret,” adding that only a judge or court board had the authority to examine the document.
Prime suspect Çetin Doğan, a retired general and former commander of the 1st Army, has said there was no coup plan in existence, adding that plans for a routine military drill – of which the seminar in question was a part – were tampered with to resemble an anti-government plot.
It was believed that the official result report on the seminar was destroyed after five years, as is routine for such documents.
“Sledgehammer” is an alleged military coup plot against the leading Justice and Development Party, or AKP, drafted in 2003. According to the allegations, the military planned drastic measures to foment unrest in the country in order to remove the AKP from power. Those measures included bombing two major mosques in Istanbul, an assault on a military museum by people disguised as religious extremists and the raising of tension with Greece through an attack on a Turkish plane that was to be blamed on the Aegean neighbor.
The first Sledgehammer hearing will be Dec. 16.