Turkish Army Confirms Colonel’s Signature On Alleged Coup Plot

ANKARA (Hurriyet)—The Turkish General Staff has confirmed that a signature on the original copy of an alleged military plot against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) belongs to Col. Dursun Cicek.

The General Staff verified that an alleged military coup plot was signed by Col. Dursun Cicek in a written statement released late Monday. Cicek was scheduled for trial on Monday, but the military court ruled for his release despite the prosecutor’s request for his arrest.

The alleged coup plot was exposed by the daily Taraf in June after a photocopy of the plot was seized at the office of a suspected member of the Ergenekon terror organization.

Cicek firmly denied having produced the plot during interrogation by prosecutors investigating the Ergenekon gang. The military investigation resulted in “no need for prosecution” because there was no evidence regarding the signature’s authenticity.

Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, at a press conference on June 26, 2009, said, “It is not a final decision. We are loyal to the principles of the rule of law and, of course, we can re-launch the investigation in the case of new evidence or information.”

On Oct. 26, upon reports saying the original copy signed by Cicek had been found, the military prosecutor re-launched the investigation. Although the signature’s authenticity was already vouched for by the Istanbul Council of Forensic Medicine and the Istanbul Police Crime Laboratory, the military asked for the original document in order to make its own laboratory tests.

A military report was written after Istanbul’s Chief Public Prosecutor finally sent the original copy on Feb. 16.

The report said the signature was compared to 20 other signatures known to belong to Cicek by using graphing, physical and optical examination techniques. Handwriting experts evaluated the signature and verified the direction, speed and pressure of the strokes, as well as the points at which the pen was lifted and applied to the page. Conclusions determined that they were all consistent with Cicek’s handwriting.

“Since the original document has provided evidence that may confirm the allegations, the earlier decision saying ‘no need for prosecution’ was canceled,” read the statement. “Col. Cicek was scheduled for trial after the military prosecutor requested his arrest. The court, however, ruled to reject this request.”

The military underlined that “the investigation is underway” and stressed that “everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”

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