Turkey’s ‘sledgehammer plot’
Details of alleged plot by military to undermine government and pave way for a coup.
|Ozer Karabulut, a retired admiral, is one of 49 senior military figures facing trial [EPA]|
Forty-nine senior military figures, some retired and some still on active duty, have been brought before special prosecutors in Turkey to answer charges of involvement in an alleged plot to pave the way for a military coup.
The figures are on trial in relation to the so-called “sledgehammer plot”, which emerged when Taraf, an independent Turkish newspaper, published leaked documents on the affair.
The Turkish army says the documents were discussed in a seminar on war-time contingency plans and denies that they represented a coup plot.
Below are excerpts from the leaked documents, dated 2003 and signed by Lt General Cetin Dogan of the Turkish Land Forces.
Aim: “To protect the territorial integrity of the country … to prevent a civil war … to remove once and for all, all causes that prevent the functioning of the secular democratic state”.
Status of the enemy: “Fundamentalist groups, while trying to infiltrate the Turkish Armed Forces, are at the same time trying to wear it down and make it look like it is anti-religious”.
“Fundamentalist groups encouraged by the current government are getting stronger … to create a system of governance based on religion.”
“The AK Party is funded and backed by fundamentalist groups, the US and the EU”.
1. Downing a Turkish fighter jet
“Let’s take it down ourselves, or make it look like the Greeks took it down.
“Increase the number of fly-bys in the Aegean, but make it look like harrassment by the Greeks.
“Harass the Greek planes enough to provoke a response, leading to the portrayal of the AK Party in the media as ‘weak’ for allowing the Aegean to be brought to the brink of war”.
2. Attack on the national air museum
Men dressed in “Islamic clothing” will stage an attack on the Museum. This will come after a march through the streets of Fatih [a religious district of Istanbul] by people dressed up as “Islamists”.
3. Attacks on military posts around major cities
Military guard posts will be attacked by “shariah-dressed people”. Entire neighbourhoods will be shut off as a result.
4. Attacks on mosques in Istanbul
Bombings at Fatih and Beyazit mosques. Explosions designed to ensure the maximum number of wounded, rather than killed.