Court to decide about 365 military members involved in coup plan
An Istanbul court is about to finalize its decision regarding 365 military members in the Balyoz (sledgehammer) case, a military coup plan dating back to 2003
A decision in the one of the major coup-plot cases plot case was expected to be announced late yesterday.
The court was discussing its ruling in the “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) case regarding the verdict
as the Hürriyet Daily News went to print. The case is being heard at Istanbul’s 10th Court for Serious Crimes, and under it 365 retired and regular soldiers are being tried, including Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) member Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, and retired generals Çetin Doğan, İbrahim Fırtına, Ergin Saygun and Admiral Özden Örnek. Currently, 250 of these 365 suspects are under arrest. The 107th hearing of the trial, which has been underway for about 18 months, was heard at Istanbul’s Silivri Prison yesterday.
‘Good for you’
During the hearing, Ret. Gen. Doğan criticized the judiciary process. “At this stage of the trial, when it is coming to en end, [the court should] at least put forth some concrete grounds for the verdicts reached for each of the accused, not the clichéd decisions [it has] given until now,” he said when asked by the court to says his last remarks. “I hope your decision will be good for you,” Doğan said.
Throughout the trial, Doğan said, he tried to show that the case was entirely fabricated, and by whom, and claimed that the evidence shown by the prosecution didn’t qualify as “legal evidence.”
“This case includes many ambiguities, but it has still made it to the verdict stage,” Ret. Gen. Saygun said. Saygun argued that the indictment contained many faulty aspects that have been proven to be wrong, adding that experts and witnesses who could affect the outcome of the case were not heard.
Some statements from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Yaşar Karayel highlight the relationship between the ongoing case and the Feb. 28 probe, he said.
“I wonder how you could finalize the case in the face of all these [ambiguities]. I think this case will recur in the near future. I guess after all these aspects are examined, it will be determined what Balyoz really is. You currently have the power, but we are right,” Saygun said.
Those suspects who are not currently held under arrest and who had not previously made their defenses also did so, pleading innocence. Following their defenses, final remarks were heard from the suspects. The court then took a break to finalize its decision, which was continuing as the Daily News went to print.
“Balyoz” is the name of an alleged Turkish secularist military coup plan, against which a case was initiated on Dec. 16, 2010, with the first court hearing held in the courthouse at Silivri Prison.
According to allegations, the military planned drastic measures to foment unrest in the country in order to remove the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) from power. These measures included bombing two major mosques in Istanbul, assaulting a military museum disguised as religious extremists
and raising tensions with Greece by attacking a Turkish plane and blaming the incident on the