By Daniel Taylor
As reported by the BBC, the heads of Turkey’s armed forces, navy and air force have all resigned in response to a military plot. The plan, according to the BBC “… reportedly involved plans to bomb mosques and provoke tensions with Greece, in order to spark political chaos and justify a military takeover.”
Files uncovered last year in the investigation into the case showed that “Those measures included bombing two major mosques in Istanbul, an assault on a military museum by people disguised as religious extremists and the raising of tension with Greece through an attack on a Turkish plane that was to be blamed on the Aegean neighbor.”
The Turkish military is claiming that the Sledgehammer plot was merely a “theoretical scenario” designed to plan for unrest. The plot was reportedly developed in 2003 at a military seminar. Nearly 200 officers are currently on trial in the case.
“Banks ceased quotes on the Turkish interbank foreign exchange market. The Lira was defended by the Turkish Central Bank, which “provided the necessary liquidity.” The Central Bank statement was said to have “stopped a crisis in the foreign exchange market”. Yet at the same time, the Central Bank decision was also conducive to a decline in Central Bank forex reserves and a massive capital outflow.
These movements on the equity and currency markets raise the following issue: Was there insider trading or foreknowledge of the attacks?
Sledgehammer is being portrayed as a brainchild of the Turkish military, a purely domestic operation of the often corrupt leadership of the country’s armed forces. However, Sledgehammer harkens back to the “strategy of tension” of the NATO led Operation Gladio. The 1980 Bologna bombings, which killed 85 people, were found to be part of Gladio’s operation. Gladio’s ultimate agenda was to “…force the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security,” according to the testimony of Vincenzo Vinciguerra, an agent of Gladio.
A 2008 Congressional Research Service document states that “It has been suggested that the Ergenekon [identified as participants in Sledgehammer] are remnants of Turkey’s gladio, forces NATO established during the Cold War to set up resistance in case of a communist invasion… Those forces were dismantled in many NATO countries, but not in Turkey…”
A 1992 BBC documentary exposed the operation.