5000-Page Plan Calls for Inciting Chaos and Violence To Overthrow Government
ANKARA (Combined Sources)—Turkish media Thursday revealed a new coup plot by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) that seeks to overthrow the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) government by creating chaos through violence in society.
The alleged plan, dubbed Balyoz (Sledgehammer), called for the Turkish military to plant bombs in mosques, attack museums with Molotov cocktails and make it appear that a Turkish jet was downed by a Greek jet, the Daily Taraf reported.
Taraf claimed on Wednesday that the coup plan–a nearly 5,000-page document, hatched between 2002-2003–was agreed upon at a military meeting attended by 162 active TSK members, including 29 generals. According to the plan, the military was to systematically foment chaos in society through violent acts that would lead to a military takeover.
The plot is believed to be the brainchild of the former Commander of the 1st Army, Gen. Cetin Dogan, former Air Forces Commander Gen. Ibrahim Firtina and retired Gen. Ergin Saygun. According to Taraf, the plan sought to secure key posts in public and private sector to active and retired members of the military to eliminate “threats to secularism.”
According to Taraf, It’s aim is to return the country back to the early days of the Republic.
According to Today’s Zaman, which reported on the plot Thursday, a return to 1923 would mean almost paralyzing daily life in Turkey, according the plan. The document suggested that the armed forces would take full control of state institutions, private hospitals, drugs warehouses, customs houses and shopping centers after the military takeover. The headquarters of some newspapers would also be raided by the security forces.
“No rights or freedoms are absolute or limitless. When the case is the survival of the secular state, the right to inform the public and freedom of the press is not without limit, either. All written and visual press organs will be taken under control, and the publications of press organs that side with the AKP will immediately be halted,” the document said.
The armed forces also planned to take into custody and then arrest at least 200,000 individuals accused of reactionary activities in Istanbul after the coup. The total number of detainees around Turkey was estimated to reach 16 million, the plan stated. According to the document, individuals who stood against the coup would be taken into custody and brought to large sports facilities for interrogation. Among those facilities were the Burhan Felek sports complex and Fenerbahce Stadium. The suspects would be questioned by security forces there and then would be sent to prisons. If the prisons were unable to accommodate all the arrestees, then military barracks would temporarily be turned into jails.
The Sledgehammer action plan suggested detaining dissidents at sport facilities such as the Burhan Felek Sports Complex and the Fenerbahce Stadium and aimed to provoke chaos in the society through attacks blamed on al-Qaeda and the PKK.
The coup plan stated its objective very clearly: “The AKP government will immediately be thrown out of government and the existing structure of reactionaryism will be destroyed. A previously determined group will be swept to power, and the authority of the secular state will be restored.” The plan also said all “official and unofficial patriots” would be used to overthrow the AKP government. “Those who resist the detentions and arrests and those who resort to plunder and damage the national wealth will face the harshest practices of the armed forces,” noted the plan.
Among the “official patriots,” the document cited a long list of jurists, bureaucrats and civil servants who would cooperate with the TSK in the event of a military coup. Among the “unofficial patriots” were journalists and members of civil society organizations.
The document also revealed that all key state posts would be occupied by members of the military. “Members of the military will be responsible for the implementation of civil services until the state structure is restored. For this reason, all key state posts will be occupied by military staff. Those staff will be active members of the military. If they are not adequate in number to fill the state posts, then retired members of the military will be called to duty,” the plan stated.
The names of former Naval Forces Commander Adm. Ozden Ornek — the author of controversial diaries which revealed that four force commanders devised plans in 2004 to stage two military coups — retired Brig. Gen. Suha Tanyeri and retired Col. Fikri Karadag are also frequently mentioned in the plan.
The mystery of the large caches of munitions that were unearthed during excavations as part of the probe into Ergenekon, a criminal organization accused of working to topple the AKP, is most probably related to the Sledgehammer coup plan, Today’s Zaman said.
The plan read that munitions buried underground would be distributed to members of the military in accordance with the plan to stage the coup. Many types of munitions have been unearthed since the start of the Ergenekon probe in June 2007, when hand grenades were discovered at a house in Istanbul’s Umraniye district.
Ergenekon is accused of intending to create chaos in the country by using the munitions, which would result in the overthrow of the government.
Ergenekon’s munitions are not restricted to those unearthed during excavations. Unidentified individuals have been abandoning weapons and munitions in isolated locations throughout the country since the discovery of munitions buried underground in 2007 after raids on Ergenekon suspects’ homes revealed maps and other evidence pointing to weapons caches.
The coup plan also suggested that public pressure on the AKP would be increased through economic problems and a financial crisis.
“Economic operations to be carried out by friends of the TSK will drive the country into a financial bottleneck in the national and international arena. Massive protests and rallies will be organized against the AKP government. Public opinion will be shaped in such a way that it will expect the armed forces to do the necessary [a coup] after news of acts of reactionaryism, student protests, soldiers killed in clashes, economic crisis and unsolved murders,” stated the document.
According to the subversive plan, bloody and shocking acts by al-Qaeda and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) would trigger massive protests by civil society groups and universities that would accuse the AKP of failing to provide security for the people of Turkey.
The plan showed that the TSK was to use the terrorist acts not only as a “means” but also as a “guarantee” of achieving its objectives.
The massive protests would lead to the declaration of martial law in the country, which would topple the AKP government. The plan has raised the question of whether the TSK had a hand in the simultaneous bombings in Istanbul in 2003 that killed more than 50 people and injured as many as 700. The bombings targeted the HSBC Bank headquarters and a nearby synagogue. Al-Qaeda terrorists claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The Sledgehammer coup plan also mentioned the TSK’s plans to establish an administration that would replace the AKP government.
The existing government would be replaced by a “National Agreement Government,” which would include a large number of active and retired me
mbers of the military. Taraf made public the names of those members of the military in Thursday’s edition of the newspaper.
“The vacant positions [in the Cabinet] will be occupied by our fellow soldiers. Our retired colleagues will take over state posts and bureaucratic positions after the overthrow of the AKP government. … All civil servants who are known to support movements of reactionaryism and separatist activities and who are known to be implicated in corrupt activities will be replaced, with no exceptions, by retired or active military staff who are trustworthy and loyal to contemporary values,” noted the document.
The document also suggested that the police force was to be brought under the control of the military, that the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) would be restructured and that the new organization would be headed by an army general on active duty.
The coup plan in addition aimed to replace the recitation of the call to prayer (adhan) in Arabic with the Turkish version: “All gains of the republic, which have been eroded till now, will be restored once again. The adhan will be recited in Turkish and the damage to Turkish culture caused by Arabs and Kurds will be repaired.”
The call to prayer was first recited in Turkish in 1932 upon a circular by the Directorate of Religious Affairs and continued through 1950. The adhan returned to its original version after the Democrat Party’s (DP) victory in the 1950 general elections.
The TSK denied the plot on Thursday, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily reported. A statement on its website said the scenario was created for a seminar from March 5-7, 2003, and that it was used in the Turkish military’s exercise program between 2003 and 2006.
But in its statement, the military claimed the goal of the plan was to expand the reaction plan for foreign threats and to educate related personnel about scenarios that might arise during a “highly tense period.” It also said that included within the plan are measures that need to be implemented in case of war.
“No one who has any mind or any conscience can believe in the allegations put forth based on this plan,” the TSK stated. “Taking the allegations seriously, commenting on them and creating knowledge pollution will especially serve the purposes of those whose aim is to create tension in society.”