I had written about a brochure CHP Deputy Chairman and Party Assembly (PM) member Umut Oran, who is also the deputy co-chairman of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee and the deputy chairman of the EU Harmonization Commission, sent each of the members of the European Parliament. It was titled “Sledgehammer: the summary of a fictitious coup plan,” and bore Oran's signature.
In stark contrast to his identity and mission, Oran made this move to propagandize that the lawsuit against the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup plan was “fictitious” and to ensure that the EP's 2012 Progress Report about Turkey should include an admonition about it against Turkey. The summary about the Sledgehammer case in the brochure contains the distorted claim that “CDs numbered 11 and 17 were deliberately altered and these CDs were the sole evidence in the case.”
In a move to denigrate the case, the brochure sports the photo showing Taraf reporter Mehmet Baransu as he hands over a suitcase containing the evidence to the Public Prosecutor's Office. In a letter he sent to Taraf in response to the said news story, Oran says the MEP frequently told him to explain the Sledgehammer case to them, adding, “It is known that the 2011 Progress Report asserts that it is worrying to witness the inconsistency of the findings in the cases against Ergenekon [a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government] and Sledgehammer.”
What Oran did was to distort the facts about the “findings, i.e., evidence.” The report in question actually underlined the fact that the ongoing trials, including the cases against Ergenekon and Sledgehammer, were opportunities to reinforce the functioning of democratic institutions and the rule of law. It did not make any mention of “findings” but just drew attention to the extended detention periods in the Sledgehammer case as undermining the right of defense and the right to a fair trial. Moreover, this report is not a sacred text, and the Sledgehammer case has progressed at a recording-breaking pace. Considering the frequency of the hearings, the case will be concluded in less than two years.
Oran is trying to deceive the MEPs, implying that CDs numbered 11 and 17 are problematic in their entirety and are the sole evidence in the case. Because he did not read the indictment or has ulterior motives, Oran skipped the fact that there are 19 CDs as evidence in the case. CDs numbered 4, 5, 6, 14 and others contain the voice recordings about the coup plan as well as the PowerPoint presentation of the coup. All of the officials serving in the 1st Army confessed that these CDs are authentic, and Çetin Doğan and his lawyers did not raise any objections to this.
A coup in the making
The voice recordings, the CDs and handwritten notes clearly indicate that it was a coup in the making. Testifying in court, retired Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt said that in his lifetime he had never seen such a seminar, and that it is the duty of Parliament and not the 1st Army to establish a national consensus government.
In his letter, Oran also wrote that there are discrepancies in the timing of the millions of blacklisting documents, a matter which was opened up for public discussion. In a series of articles titled “Sledgehammer and Facts” Baransu discussed the audio recordings of the coup meeting and showed that these recordings indicate these blacklists were up-to-date in some 100 cases.
Why, then, is Oran refraining from providing the MEPs with objective information and instead using more manipulative and misleading methods? Why does he continue to distort the facts in his response to the news story?
On the day the said news story went public, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu hurriedly held a press conference. In sum, he said: "We want to remove the coup law from the law of the Republic of Turkey. I call on all deputies to state whether they want to get rid of the coup law. The CHP is ready for this. It is an honorable duty to remove the coup law."
While his words sound melodious to our ears, they are not convincing to the people of Turkey who know the CHP's past. Your deputy chairman prepares brochures fraught with lies to undermine and discredit the cases against coups in the eyes of the EU and you nominate defendants in these cases to Parliament and announce that you are the "lawyer of Ergenekon," only to make such statements as that above when you are behind the eight ball. Furthermore, you also fail to keep your promises.
This has nothing to do with politics and it is not convincing in the least.