A GUIDE TO SLEDGEHAMMER IN 15 QUESTIONS
1 What are the defendants in the Sledgehammer case
There are 195 defendants in the Sledgehammer case.
According to the Sledgehammer Indictment, in December 2002, soon after the general
elections of November 2002, a full‐fledged coup plan under the leadership of 1st
Army commander Çetin Doğan was launched to topple the AKP government. The plot contemplated
the bombing of mosques, downing a Turkish fighter jet, the take‐over of hospitals and
pharmacies, the closing of NGOs, the arrest of journalists and politicians, ...
The Indictment also charges that the coup plot was given a dress rehearsal on 5‐7 March 2003 in
a seminar at the 1st Army Headquarters.
2 What is the source of these allegations?
In January 2010, an unknown individual delivers a suitcase to journalist Mehmet
Baransu. The suitcase contains 2,000 odd pages of documents not connected to the investigation,
10 cassettes of voice recordings of the 1st Army plan seminar (made under Çetin Doğan’s
orders), and 19 CDs.
Of the 19 CDs, 16are authentic CDs from the 1st Army archives that do not make any reference
to criminal activities. All the documents relating to the Sledgehammer coup plans are in the
remaining 3 CDs. One of these CDs, CD no. 11, contains all the documents that are subject of
the Sledgehammer investigation.
3 What does the Sledgehammer CD contain?
This CD (CD no. 11) contains all the documents that mention Sledgehammer‐related
activities: all the operational plans, (Oraj, Suga, Çarşaf, Sakal), list of NGOs slated to be closed,
blacklists of individuals from various institutions, journalists to be arrested, vehicles, hospitals,
and pharmacies to be taken over, personnel assignments.... In short, all the documents on which
the Sledgehammer charges rest are recorded on this CD.
This CD also contains copies of documents from the other, authentic CDs, which do not refer to
any criminal activities.
4 When (and how) was the Sledgehammer CD produced
according to the Indictment?
According to all the forensic reports in the file, this CD was produced was produced in a
single session, and no additions/deletions were made subsequently.
The forensic analyses report that the date of creation for the CD is shown as 5 March 2003 in the
metadata of the CD. All the documents in the CD have last‐save dates (again in their metadata)
that are prior to this date. The Indictment charges that the CD was created specially for Çetin
Doğan just prior to the 1st Army plan seminar.
5 Are there signed, printed versions of these digital
None of the Sledgehammer documents carry signatures (wet or dry). Everything is recorded on
6 Is it possible to tell whether the CD was produced really
in 2003 from the metadata?
It is possible to change any computer’s system clock backwards or forwards. For
example, if you reset your computer’s clock backwards today to 2003, all the files and
documents that you prepare on your computer will show not today’s date (2011) but the date
that you have reset the computer to (2003).
The same is also true for the names of the individuals that show under the username
information in the metadata. You can define any usernames you like in your computer. If you
define, say “Marilyn Monroe” instead of your own name for the username, the metadata on the
documents will show that the documents were prepared by Marilyn Monroe.
7 Can the Sledgehammer CD really have been prepared in
When we look at the documents inside the CD, we see that they contain information
from 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004 that could not have been known
back in 2003.
Let’s give one example for each year.
2009 İstanbul ilinde bulunan ilaç depoları.doc
A document dated 4 February 2003 lists a company called Yeni Recordati İlaç.
However, this firm is called Yeni İlaç in 2003. The firm is bought by the Italian company
Recordati in 2008. Following a decision by the board of directors in July 2009, the firm is
renamed to Yeni Recordati İlaç.
2008 İstanbul ilinde bulunan özel hastaneler.doc
A document dated 5 February 2003 lists a hospital called Medical Park Sultangazi.
But there is no hospital by that name in 2003. There is a hospital named Sultan Hastanesi in
Sultangazi district, Istanbul. This hospital is taken over by the Medical Park group of hospitals
in July 2008 and its name is changed to Medical Park Sultangazi.
2007 Savunma Sanayi.xls
This document dated 25 February 2003 lists individuals employed in Aselsan and thought to be
suitable for providing support to the coup.
According to information provided by Aselsan to the prosecutors, the individuals named İ.B.,
V.T. and R.E.P. started work at Aselsan in June 2007, July 2007 and September 2007,
respectively. These individuals were not employed in Aselsan in 2003.
2006 Kapatılacak ve el konulacak dernekler. doc
In this document dated 24 February 2003 an NGO named Liberal Avrupa Derneği
(”Liberal Europe”) is listed as a “separatist” organization, and is slated to be closed following
However, there is no such NGO in 2003 yet. There is instead an NGO named Hür Demokratlar
Derneği (“Free Democrats”). This NGO decides to rename itself in its annual meeting of April
2006. Among the names put forward, Liberal Avrupa takes the most votes and becomes the
official name of the organization.
2005 Milli Mutabakat Hükümeti Programı.doc
In this document dated 3 March 2003 the Sledgehammer coup planners outline their economic
program. The document contains verbatim, word‐for‐word extracts from a paper presented by
Haydar Baş during the closeing session of an economic congress in November 2005.
A small example:
Milli Mutabakat Hükümeti Programı.doc, page 5, paragraph 5:
“1999 yılında IMF, Türkiye’ye mali destekli yeni bir anlaşma yapılabilmesi için Bankalar
Yasası, Sosyal Güvenlik Yasası, Uluslararası Tahkim, Özelleştirme… gibi sözde
reformların yapılması gerektiği bildirilmiştir.”
Haydar Baş, lectuure at the National Economy Congress on 27 November 2005, paragraph58:
“1999 yılında IMF, Türkiye’ye mali destekli yeni bir anlaşma yapılabilmesi için
Türkiye’nin Bankalar Yasası, Sosyal Güvenlik Yasası, Uluslar arası Tahkim,
Özelleştirme… gibi sözde reformlarını yapması gerektiğini bildirmiştir.”
2004 Birinci Sinif Kamu Gorevlileri ve Destek Durumlari hazine.docbelgesi
In this document dated 15 February 2003 employees of the national Treasury are listed
according to their likely support of the Sledgehammer coup.
N.B. is shown in this document as Deputy Undersecretary, a post he will take up in October
2004. Similarly, B.A. is also listed as Deputy Undersecretary, a position he will begin to occupy
in April 2004. N.Ş and Z.B are shown on duty abroad, even though they are in the country.
Their foreign posting takes place with a decree issued in March 2004.
8 Could it be that these anachronisms are due to the
updating of the Sledgehammer documents in later years?
The prosecutors claim that the CD in question is the original CD prepared for Çetin
Doğan in 2003. Plus, this CD is burned in a single session, so there have been no additions or
deletions made subsequent to first recording. It is not possible for this CD to have been
updated in later years.
Consequently, this CD was prepared in August 2009 at the earliest. The individuals who
produced the CD in 2009 manipulated the computer clock and the usernames to create the
impression that it was prepared in 2003 by the defendants on trial.
If a CD prepared in 2009 contained a routine updating of earlier plans, the recording date on the
CD’s metadata would show the year 2009, not 2003. Moreover, the usernames on the metadata
and the names under the documents would refer to officers on duty in 2009. The
Sledgehammer documents contain the names of individuals on duty in 2003.
For instance, the officer who appears to have prepared the document referring to the firm Yeni
Recordati İlaç (judging by the name under the document as well as the metadata) retired in
August 2003. It makes no sense to think that this same individual would be the one to update
the document 6 years later, leaving his rank of 2003 on the updated document while resetting
the computer’s clock also back to 2003.
9 How come prosecutors have not identified even a single
one of these contradictions?
Prosecutors sent the lists in the CDs to various institutions and asked for confirmation of
dates and names. The responses they received show clearly that these documents, and hence
the Sledgehammer CD, could not have been produced in 2003. Inexplicably, the prosecutors
placed this correspondence under seal instead of including it in the indictment or its annexes.
In addition, prosecutors made wrong and misleading statements in the indictment by
indicating that the responses they received were consistent with the authenticity of the
10 The Sledgehammer CD may be fake, but don’t the voice
recordings from the 1st Army plan seminar confirm the
No. The Sledgehammer Plan and the associated documents exist only on the CD.
During the seminar, no mention is made of Sledgehammer or of any of the other associated
operational plans. The seminar is recorded by the orders of Çetin Doğan himself and takes
place with 15 observers from the General Staff and Landed Forces Command in attendance. It
is impossible for a coup to have been secretly discussed in this seminar without Ankara’s
knowledge (and recorded on top).
The purpose of the seminar was to test the Army’s existing plans against a particular
contingency scenario, one involving both an external threat and an opportunistic domestic
uprising. The contingency scenario doesn’t include mosque bombings, downing a jet, or a
takeover of the government.
The fraudsters who fabricated the Sledgehammer documents used some of the statements from
the seminar and placed them in their documents, creating the illusion of a relationship between
these documents and the seminar.
11 Aren’t the defendants charged with discussing a coup in
the plan seminar?
There are 195 defendants in the Sledgehammer case. Among these only 48 were
participants in the seminar. The other 147 defendants have no relationship at all to the seminar.
They are charged because their names appear in one form or another in the Sledgehammer CD.
Moreover, of the 162 seminar participants, 114 are not defendants. There are several very active
participants in the seminar whom the prosecutors have decided not to charge with anything.
To repeat, all the Sledgehammer documents which give the case its name come out of a CD.
Prosecutors say this CD was prepared in 2003 for Çetin Doğan.
12 What about the 10 sacks of Sledgehammer documents that
were discovered in the Naval Command at Gölcük?
What was “discovered” in Gölcük are not 10 sacks of Sledgehammer documents. There
were plastic bags under a raised floor containing hundreds of books, magazines, cables, etc.
These bags contained also 2 CDs and 1 discontinued hard disk. New files had been added to
the hard disk after the hard disk had been removed from its original computer.
It is these 2 CDs and the hard disc that constitute the “additional” Sledgehammer files. Police reports on the contents of these CDs and hard disk
were subsequently collated into 43 files, and distributed to
13 Does the discovery of the Sledgehammer files in the
Naval Command make them authentic?
CD no. 1 from Gölcük contains all the same Sledgehammer files that the Indictment is based on.
In addition, there is a single Word file on this CD. So all the anachronisms in CD 11 are
contained also in CD no. 1 from Gölcük. So this new CD is as fake as the previous one.
The other CD contains documents alleged to have been prepared by the Gendarmerie.
14 Can the new Sledgehammer documents be genuine?
The new Sledgehammer files are on hard disk no. 5. This hard disk was removed from usage in
July 2009 after which apparently new additions were made. These files relate to the Suga ve
Oraj plans. These new files too are made to look like they date from 2003.
There are no signed, printed versions of these documents.
There are countless anachronisms in these documents too, very similar to those in CD no. 11.
There are additional kinds of inconsistencies as well.
Here are a few examples of the evidence that indicates these documents are fabricated.
This document dated 30 July 2003 provides a list of officers to be discharged in connection with
the Suga plan. Among these officers, one is shown on duty on the frigate TCG Alanya.
However, the Navy doesn’t yet have such a ship in 2003. TCG Alanya is commissioned two
years later, built in Germany, and joins the Turkish Navy in 2005.
Rome toplantı sonuç.doc and EKA Toplantı Sonuç Raporu.doc
According to these documents, two separate meetings were held to prepare for the Suga plan at
the Navy Headquarters on 13 December 2002 and 2 January 2003.
One of the officers who appears to have participated is on foreign duty during those dates at the
EUROMARFOR Headquarters (Rome, Italy). His passport records show he didn’t make a single
trip back to Turkey between November 2002 and September 2003.
U.S.A. müzahirPer.doc and müzahirPerEK‐A.doc
The officer who appears to have prepared this document on 13 December 2002 is in training at
the time in the U.S. His passport records show he didn’t make any trips to Turkey between July
2002 and June 2003.
“Ateşe” ek.doc and caner ben_1.doc
The military attaché in Rome who appears to have prepared this document dated 2003
describes his post (both on the letterhead and underneath the letter) as “ateşe.” The proper
spelling in Turkish is “ataşe.”
It is inconceivable that the officer would be unaware of the proper spelling of the position he
Moreover, the same document shows an officer on duty at CCMAR Naples. At the time that the
document was prepared, CCMAR Naples did not yet exist. CCMAR Naples started operations
in July 2004.
There are countless similar examples...
A large number of officers are listed with ranks they will fill in later years.
Officers who appear to have prepared certain documents sometimes get wrong:
their own military ranks,
their own titles,
and even their own names!
15 How is it possible for fabricated documents to be found in
the Naval Command?
It is not news that there are moles in the military who have access to secret documents.
The suitcase that was delivered to Mehmet Baransu contained secret documents and voice
recordings obtained from the 1st Army. These genuine documents and voice recordings had
been secreted out and packaged together with fabricated documents.
This time, the fake CDs and the hard disk (with the additions) were placed in Gölcük under the
raised floor boards among the bags of books and other material already there.
It may be surprising that there are moles with such access. But the Gölcük case doesn’t teach us
anything new that we did not know.
TWO FINAL QUESTIONS........
Why don’t we read about these in the press?
An important segment of the media (dailies such as Taraf, Zaman, Star, and Sabah especially)
has engaged in systematic distortion and disinformation about the evidence in the
You can find example of this at cdogangercekler.wordpress.com...
Other parts of the media have preferred to keep their distance to the case, in view of the
pressure and intimidation to which they have been subjected.
What is the status of the Sledgehammer defendants
163 of the defendants have been ordered detained by the court.
Apart from two defendants who are being treated in hospitals and several who are on foreign
duty, all of them are in jail at the Silivri or Hasdal prisons.
All of the judges who had previously ruled in favor of releasing the defendants over the course
of the Sledgehammer investigation have been removed and appointed to other parts of the
Two of the prosecutors who prepared the Sledgehammer Indictment (disregarding all the
evidence of fabrication) were recently promoted to seats at the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The defendants have asked the court several times for the digital images and photos of the
The court has refused. Even though photos of the CDs were leaked to a pro‐government
newspaper (Zaman), these photos have not been given to the defense.
The real perpetrators in this case are at large while the officers framed with fake documents
remain in jail.
Prepared by: Pınar Doğan and Dani Rodrik, 6 March 2011.
For more information: cdogangercekler.wordpress.com...