Rear Adm. Çakmak, jailed as a suspect in the ongoing Sledgehammer case, vowed in a recording posted online to take revenge for the trial within two years, and that many would be hurt. ‘Once we are released from here, those outside will have a very serious price to pay,’ he says
“The picture will be upside down within two years. Look, I am saying this. You would say my pasha had said this. These guys [behind the probe] will flee. Many of them will flee the country. And revenge will be very different. Many people will be hurt. I mean, many will be hurt in revenge,” a man, alleged to be Çakmak, is heard saying in a recording posted on video sharing website dailymotion.com on Monday.
The rear admiral says in the recording that the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, used to order his soldiers to “seize the whole city when a rebellion erupted, including children,” and implied that his group's revenge would be similar. “Our revenge will come at a time when they feel most self-confident and it will be flawless. … Atatürk used to order that everyone in a city be seized, not even leaving children, in the event of a rebellion. The man saw [the future]. Even the children … this is how it happens,” he continues.
“I believe one thing. Do you know when a person is weakest? When he feels most self-confident. … We also had much self-confidence and we were weak because of it. They are now making the same mistake,” Çakmak says.
“There will be many cases of settling of accounts. Two years is long, it will be perhaps within a year. Once we are released from here, there will be a very serious payoff for those outside. It will be very serious. Do you know what our first plan is? They will be starved. Everything will start after this. I mean we are not idle,” he continues. In the recording, Çakmak refers to the coup plot suspects as “freedom fighters” and says, “They will not give up hope.”
“Of course, this will be a process. I do not know how much more we will suffer. But I do not think that it will take too long. We’ll how many people they will release, if they do. I mean even if they don’t, this will not take too long. That’s what the news we received suggests. These are credible sources. This will be accounted for,” the person speaking in the recording is heard saying.
Arguing that it is impossible for “them” to evade “the trial of history,” the rear admiral claims that those behind the Sledgehammer trial will not sleep comfortably in their graves. “Even the soil will reject their bodies,” he says. He adds that when he says “they” he means the judges, prosecutors and police officers who are now investigating the suspected plot.
Çakmak was arrested last year as part of an investigation into the Sledgehammer coup plan, a subversive plot allegedly prepared by a clique inside the military that included plans to crash jets and bomb large mosques during busy prayer hours to undermine the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) with the hope of eventually overthrowing it. The rear admiral is remembered for having threatened judges at the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court, which is currently hearing the Sledgehammer case, last summer when he said he wonders “who will be trapped under the debris of the collapsing Sledgehammer case” and that “the judges will not be able to escape being tried for treason.”
Threats directed at judges
The person in the recording, thought to be Çakmak, also speaks about remarks he made about members of the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court. Complaining about a lack of “courageous” Turkish officers in the military, in particular in the land forces, he proudly says not a single naval officer referred the presiding judge as “esteemed judge.”
“We all spoke politically [during court sessions.] I begged them [officers] not to yield to them [judges] in their testimonies. I do not say esteemed judge and such in court. I am shouting ‘members of the 10th High Criminal Court.’ I am saying neither ‘esteemed judge’ nor ‘esteemed members of the court.’ I had said, looking at the panel of judges, that they will be tried for treason,” he adds.
Çakmak’s alleged remarks in the recording come on the heels of the emergence of a similar recording last week in which another Sledgehammer suspect threatened the government with civil war as soon as suspects imprisoned on charges of planning a coup d’état are released from prison.
In the recording, also posted on dailymotion.com on Friday, a person alleged to be Rear Adm. Fatih Ilgar harshly criticizes the prime minister and senior military officers and says suspects who have been imprisoned on charges of plotting to overthrow the government are set to be released from prison in around two months thanks to a bill that will be voted on in Parliament soon.
“There is a bill on the agenda. It will be passed in one or two months’ time. Information coming to me suggests this. They will release us from prison thanks to that bill. This country will restore itself either through an economic crisis or civil war. One of these two options will knock on our door one day. If it’s a war [that knocks on our door] then we will make it a [civil] war. It [the struggle against the government] will not end here [in prison]. We have plans for after we are set free,” the person is heard as saying.
According to the Sledgehammer allegations, members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had a systematic plan to create chaos in society by bombing mosques and attacking popular locations with the desired result being to increase pressure on the AK Party government for a perceived failure to provide security for its citizens. The attacks were intended to eventually lead to a military coup. The plan was drawn up in 2003 and discussed during a seminar at the General Staff’s Selimiye Barracks in March that year.