My intent has always been to help those outside of Turkey understand the country, its people and their various cultures. It has always been my hope that any criticism would be viewed as constructive. The Sledgehammer (Balyoz) case is no different.
I'm not privy to all of the evidence and haven't sat through the trials, but I have poured over hundreds of pages, including court petitions, trial summaries, parts of the indictment and expert witness reports regarding the evidence. It simply doesn't pass the 'smell test'. Something is wrong here.
A few days ago, I received an email from the sister of one of the defendants, asking the following questions (translation my own). They are worth considering.
IS THIS WHAT GUILTY PEOPLE DO?
1. Do the guilty start a petition to have the “Trials Carried Live on Television” and submit it to the Ministry of Justice with 50,000 signatures?
2. Do the guilty insist that the person specified in the prosecution’s indictment as having "Prevented the coup” be heard as a witness?
3. Can the guilty obtain 30 expert witness reports from universities (METU, ITU, Boğaziçi, etc.) sworn expert witnesses and foreign forensic institutions demonstrating that the CDs presented against them as evidence are false?
4. Do the guilty insist that the court "appoint an expert witness of its own choosing just as long as one is appointed?"
5. Do the guilty demand that the expert witnesses who have reportedly submitted reports against them be heard in court? When this request is denied, do they then insist that the expert answer written questions?
6. Do the guilty insist that the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Coup Research Commission examine the case?
7. Do the guilty petition the European Court of Human Rights?
8. Do the guilty submit a petition to the United Nations Arbitrary Detention Working Group?
9. Do the guilty return from abroad and say “put me on trial” without waiting for a court summons?
10. Do the guilty make a “1-minute” defense so as not to prolong the trial when facing a sentence of life in prison?
11. Do the guilty say to the tribunal during their defense, “Please look at me when I’m talking to you?”
12. Do the guilty say, “Please ask me anything,” during the cross-examination?
13. Do the guilty demand that individuals on the list they were supposed to have prepared, and who they commissioned or those they are said to have recommended being discharged from the Turkish Armed Forces be heard as witnesses?
14. Would the lawyer for the guilty risk facing charges for his client? When the court did bring charges, does this same lawyer say, “This is, for me, a medal of honor?”
15. Do the guilty file charges against the expert witnesses, police, prosecutors and judges who have accused them?
16. For the love of God, is there not a single witness to take the stand against the 326 individuals who are said to be guilty?
17. Let’s say a witness cannot be found, is there not a single piece of evidence against these guilty individuals, such as a signed document, wire-tapped recording, etc.