Kenan Evren's confession and the Sledgehammer coup
The Sledgehammer case has finalized at the 10th High Criminal Court with heavy verdicts, up to 18 years, against the coup planners of the 1st Army Headquarters in Istanbul back in 2003. Now, the Supreme Court will review the court decision.
However, relatives of generals involved in the coup plots, including Harvard Professor Dani Rodrik, the son-in-law of Sledgehammer defendant and former 1st Army Cdr. Çetin Doğan, continue to pump false information into international media to create questions about the court case. Families of the generals continue to appear in various occasions to protest the verdicts.

Parallel to these developments, another court case is taking place surrounding the Sept. 12, 1980 coup. Kenan Evren, the coup leader at the time, appeared in court a few days ago and revealed an interesting detail about the coup in 1980. Evren confessed that the coup plans in 1980 were prepared in the 1st Army Headquarters in Istanbul by 1st Army Cdr. Necdet Üruğ.

This revelation is an interesting one for the current Sledgehammer case, as those who modeled Sledgehammer also architected the 1980 coup. They brought the 1980 coup plans from the archives of the 1st Army Headquarters, studied them and updated them. The Sledgehammer case was set to become a coup similar to the one conducted in 1980.

Evren's testimony falsifies one of the main arguments by defendants in the Sledgehammer case. The perpetrators have long argued in the media and in court that the 1st Army technically stage a coup, making it illogical for the division to devise plans for one.

However, Evren's revelation proved that the 1980 coup, just like the planned Sledgehammer coup, was prepared in Istanbul by the 1st Army commander. Thus, one of the main arguments of the Sledgehammer defendants has been falsified.

Second, the documents brought to the court were not signed by the Cdr. Doğan, leading the defendants to argue that unsigned documents could not be used as evidence of a coup plot.

Against this argument, experts who know the Turkish military's practices in these circumstances, for instance, Alper Görmuş, argued that generals do not sign the documents until they successfully stage the coup.

Yet, a lawyer of one of the generals in the Sledgehammer case challenged Görmuş to prove the existence of any similar document left unsigned before the 1980 coup.

After Evren's revelation that the 1980 coup plot was prepared in İstanbul, I rechecked the coup papers that were revealed in documents of the Sledgehammer case. Bingo! Most of the documents prepared before the 1980 coup were not signed. Almost all documents were prepared with the name of Cdr. Üruğ.

Not surprisingly to us, who believe that Çetin Doğan and his friends were preparing a coup plot, these 2003 plotters did the same thing. Almost all the documents were prepared in the names of Doğan, İbrahim Fırtına and Özden Örnek, the top generals at that time -- but not signed by them.

Even the attitudes of the architects of the 2003 Sledgehammer plot and 1980 coup are the same, a fact that became obvious after Kenan Evren's revelation.

I don't know how the Supreme Court will weigh Evren's testimony, but to me, what Evren has said put the Sledgehammer coup planners in a very difficult position, because without calculating the effects his statements would have, the general falsified the two main arguments of the defendants.

Rodrik's first argument that, like in the 1980 coup, the documents were not signed and therefore could not show that there was a coup plan, has now collapsed. His second argument -- that the 1st Army was not in a position to stage a coup -- also collapsed with Evren's staments, because Çetin Doğan, Mr. Rodrik's father-in-law, was preparing to stage a coup when he was appointed to his post in Ankara as 1st Army Commander.

I know Professor Rodrik is a clever enough person to find further lies that "explain" how Evren's confessions are wrong when it comes to the Sledgehammer case. I am writing to see what kind of "explanation" he would offer for the confession that falsified his two main arguments.

EMRE USLU (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-24 12:00:02
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