The Court of Cassation, Turkey's high court of appeals, has accepted the indictment into 50 former judges and prosecutors for their involvement in the “Balyoz” (“Sledgehammer”) trials, which had resulted in the dismissal of several officers from the Turkish Armed Forces who were not members of the Gülen movement.
Istanbul's Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office had submitted the relevant indictment to the Court of Cassation about a year ago. The indictment, which seeks from 10 to 37 years for the suspects in question on charges of “violating the Constitution,” was accepted by the Court of Cassation on Sept. 28, daily Hürriyet reported.
In 2012, more than 300 military officers were convicted in the “Sledgehammer” case -- so called because of the code name of an alleged plot to destabilize the government through clandestine attacks.
The case was widely viewed by experts as tainted by dubious evidence, and was seen as an act of revenge carried out by the Gülen movement against those who were not Gülenists.
The Gülen movement, with this Sledgehammer conspiracy trial, is therefore said to have cleared the way for its own members by shaping the promotions list in the military for its own interests and purposes.
Many of the prosecutors and judges in the Sledgehammer case were later revealed to be followers of Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic preacher who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Since then, they have been dismissed from the judiciary and have faced investigations.
Turkish courts cleared the officers who stood trial in the Sledgehammer case in 2015 after the government and the Gülen movement fell out, a rift that culminated with an attempted coup in July 2016, which is widely believed to have been undertaken by followers of the movement in the military.