Some columns written by General Staff, suggests preliminary report
A preliminary report drafted by computer experts after the examination of hard disks from offices of the General Staff suggests that a number of columns published in newspapers were written by members of the General Staff, not by the columnists under whose names they appeared.

Acting on a request from the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court, which is involved in a trial against anti-government websites allegedly established by the military, the General Staff recently sent hard disks of computers from its Information Support Unit to the court for examination. The disks were examined by a group of experts, who prepared a preliminary report about their findings. The report was sent to the court earlier this week.

According to the report, the disks contain columns which had also appeared in several national newspapers. The documents were stored on the hard disks before the opinion pieces were published in the papers, raising suspicions that they were written by members of the military before being sent to newspapers to be published under the names of columnists.

The report included examples of such columns as well as those newspapers and columnists under which they were published. Among the columnists who allegedly published columns as their own work that were actually written by the General Staff are E.Ö. from the Hürriyet daily, M.M.Y. and F.B. from Milliyet, İ.S. from Cumhuriyet, İ.B. from Radikal, S.T. from Akşam, R. A. from Posta, T.D. from Vatan and H.K. and A.B. from the Yeniçağ daily.

Some news reports suggested civilian prosecutors may file new investigations into members of the military and columnists due to the columns.

The investigation into the propaganda websites began in 2010 based on evidence found at the home of retired Col. Hasan Ataman Yıldırım, another suspect in the websites case. Later, an anonymous tipster from inside the military sent an email to inform the public and prosecutors that the General Staff had established 42 websites for the sole purpose of disseminating propaganda about the government and religious communities. Twenty-two military officers, seven of whom are generals accused of "attempting to overthrow the government," are currently on trial as part of the investigation into the anti-government websites.

The hard disks also featured documents about a closure case filed against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in 2008 and the presidential elections of 2007. Furthermore, the documents included the names of several journalists and columnists with whom the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the General Staff had friendly ties.

The hard disks contained roughly 3 million documents, around 600,000 of which were encrypted and carried the note "confidential." The İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court sent a notice to the General Staff earlier this week, asking the staff to decrypt the documents so that the court is able to assess their contents.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-12-18 20:00:02
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