A Turkish court has summoned former military chiefs to testify as part of an investigation into a subversive coup plot that has already put dozens of high-ranking military officials behind bars.
The 10th İstanbul High Criminal Court demanded on Wednesday that former chiefs of General Staff Yaşar Büyükanıt and İlker Başbuğ along with Gendarmerie Commander Bekir Kalyoncu testify in the Sledgehammer probe. A prosecutor who headed an investigation of several former chiefs of General Staff, including Gen. Işık Koşaner, Gen. Başbuğ, Gen. Büyükanıt and Gen. İsmail Hakkı Karadayı -- all of whom then stood accused of violating the constitutional order and laws -- recently dismissed the charges due to a lack of grounds for legal action. They were accused of being part of the Sledgehammer coup plan.
The Sledgehammer plot mentions plans such as bombing the most-frequented mosques in İstanbul in an attempt to trigger chaos in the country to provide a pretext for military intervention. The plan led to nationwide outcry, with many calling for the authorities to punish those behind it, but some have suspicions that the plan was fabricated to defame the military.
The court said Kalyoncu, Büyükanıt and ret. Gen. Köksal Karabay were summoned to testify as their signatures are on a final report for the action plan, discussed at a military seminar in in 2003, during which preparations were allegedly made for the Sledgehammer coup plot.
The plan was drawn up in 2003 and discussed at a seminar held at the General Staff's Selimiye barracks in March of that year. The General Staff has denied that the Sledgehammer plot was the subject of a seminar, saying they have no record of such an incident and defended itself by claiming that the Sledgehammer plan was merely a war game. The General Staff also said the records for the Selimiye seminar, held March 5-7, 2003, were destroyed after being kept on file in the cosmic room for four years.
More than 200 military officers are in custody -- accused of involvement in the Sledgehammer coup plot.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Şubat 2012, 11:19