Observers have condemned members of the military for behaving as if they are above the law, a situation that manifested itself once again with the annulment of a court order to arrest dozens of suspects, including active duty and retired senior military commanders, on coup charges.
“Military members against whom an arrest warrant was issued were not captured in two weeks. Had such a warrant been issued for an ordinary citizen, an immediate [police] operation would have been launched and the suspect would have been handed over to justice,” noted retired prosecutor Reşat Petek. According to Petek, the annulment of the arrest warrant is a strong indication of the invalidity of court decisions for military members.
Sledgehammer is a suspected military plot aimed at unseating the government. It was drafted by retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, the former commander of the 1st Army, in 2003, shortly after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rose to power as a single party. The military considers the party pro-reactionary and believes it poses a danger to the secular republic; thus, it has allegedly been engaged in various plans to overthrow the AK Party government.
The Sledgehammer plot included plans to shoot down a Turkish jet and bomb large mosques at busy prayer hours to undermine the AK Party government, with the hope of eventually unseating it.
“A shelter was created for the serving and retired suspects. Everyone is supposed to respect court decisions in countries governed by the rule of law, but this was not the case in Turkey,” Petek added.
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