Balyoz file sent to Court of Appeals for final verdict

Balyoz file sent to Court of Appeals for final verdict

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Balyoz file sent to Court of Appeals for final verdict

The file for the Balyoz (Sleddgehammer) alleged coup plot case was sent to Ankara from Istanbul today via a five-vehicle convoy. DHA photo

The file for the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) alleged coup plot case, in which three former generals were given 20 years in prison on Sept. 21, was today sent to the Court of Appeals in Ankara from Istanbul for a final verdict.

The Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court, which had heard the Balyoz case, composed a file of 1,435 pages and 45 case documents for the Court of Appeals review.

A total of 331 of the 365 suspects, including high ranking retired military officials, were sentenced to prison terms, while 34 suspects were acquitted.

Retired Air Force Commander Gen. İbrahim Fırtına, retired 1st Army Commander Gen. Çetin Doğan, and retired Navy Commander Admiral Özden Örnek were convicted to life imprisonment on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government by force,” but the terms were later reduced to 20 years because of the “incomplete attempt at staging a coup,” the court said.

Engin Alan, a retired general and a deputy from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was sentenced to 18 years in prison, as was retired General Bilgin Balanlı, the former commander of the War Academies. Retired Colonel Dursun Çiçek was sentenced to 16 years in prison, while a total of 175 suspects were each sentenced to 13 years in prison.

The Balyoz coup plot case went on for two years and eight months and involved 365 suspects, 250 of whom were under arrest.

The case was brought onto the agenda after documents titled “Balyoz Operation Plan,” dating back to 2003, were revealed by a daily newspaper two years ago.

According to the claims, the coup plot was planned by the junta headed by the 1st Army Commander of that period, Çetin Doğan. The plot was alleged to consist of action plans under the code names of “Çarşaf” (Sheet), “Sakal” (Beard), “Suga” and “Oraj.”

5,000-page documents were claimed to include plans such as forcing the government to proclaim martial law by bombing the Fatih and Beyazıt mosques in Istanbul, provoking the people by downing a Turkish jet over Greece’s airspace, and arresting journalists after the planned coup.