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NYT: Turkish Leader Disowns Trials That Helped Him Tame Military

Author: Tim Arango
February 28, 2014


"Whether the corruption charges are justified or not — there has been plenty of leaked evidence, especially wiretapped conversations, that appears incriminating — the corruption probe has laid bare the influence of the Gulen movement within the Turkish state, which had largely been suspected but hard to prove."

ISTANBUL — A series of sensational trials that shook the Turkish military in recent years achieved what many regard as the most important legacy of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's more than a decade in power: sending the army back to its barracks and out of politics.

Now, though, Mr. Erdogan is acknowledging what many legal and forensics experts have long said: that, in a word, the trials were a sham. He has reversed himself not because of any pangs of guilt, analysts say, but for the simple reason that the same prosecutors who targeted the military with fake evidence are now going after him.

One document that was portrayed as laying out the details of a planned coup was discovered by an expert forensics witness to have been written with a version of Microsoft Office that did not exist at the time of the supposed plot. Some of the officers said to have been in the coup-planning meeting were in fact in Israel or England, or out at sea. A pharmaceutical company supposedly set to be taken over by the army after the coup was listed under a name it adopted years later.

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