Dani Rodrik's Facts

Just hours after my article that referred to Dani Rodrik was posted on the Internet, Rodrik issued a response in his blog "Balyoz Davası ve Gerçekler" (Balyoz Trial and Facts). Apparently urged by a sense of duty, Rodrik naturally didn't want to lose any time in correcting my “misstatements.”

At the beginning of the blog post, three hypotheses are stressed. First, he says that the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) plan was not discussed in the 1st Army seminar held in 2003. There are similarities between some of the discussions at the seminar and phrases used in the coup documents, but these similarities "could have been easily introduced by those who fabricated the documents." Second, he claims that Çetin Doğan, the former head of the 1st Army and Rodrik's father-in-law, did not lie to his military superiors about what occurred at the seminar. He ended up going with a version of events that "differed from the version his superiors had asked for," but it "was distributed to his superiors beforehand." Third, Rodrik maintains that the seminar did not refer to a "coup" or "who would come to power following it." All of this information can be found on the evidential CDs.  Rodrik tries to create a protective framework for his father-in-law. He prioritizes the voice recordings about the seminar, but trivializes the evidential documents. At the same time, since he knows this wouldn't secure sufficient protection for Doğan, he not only suggests that those documents could have been planted by "fraudsters," but also attempts to prove that Doğan's superiors have taken part in the crime. He does not address the fact that the “possibility” that the documents in question could have been planted by fraudsters does not automatically prove that these same documents were not created by Doğan and his cronies. Rodrik avoids any discussion of why Doğan's superiors attempted to prevent Doğan from disclosing the seminar records if there is no incriminating content, or why Doğan insisted on his version of the full scope of events or whether he communicated the content of that seminar to his superiors without any change. We should understand why Doğan acts this way: If you set out with the intention of diverting people from the facts, you will naturally not be eager to uncover the facts.

Rodrik's blog post then enumerates various arguments in response to my article. But first let me make a correction: Rodrik argues that the General Staff has acknowledged that they had the originals of some of the Balyoz documents, but that they are not related to coup plans. However, the General Staff had merely declared that not "all" of the Balyoz documents fall within its area of responsibility and that some plans which were part of the Balyoz coup were not in its archives any longer when the court's request was made. It provided the names of those documents that were not in the archives, and in so doing, the General Staff indirectly accepted the fact that the documents that it didn't name could have been in its archives. The General Staff has also not refuted the documents belonging to the major who was in charge of the secret cache in Gölcük. Unfortunately, we don't have any dignified reason for assuming that Rodrik is not capable of correctly reading even a simple General Staff statement.

On to Rodrik's reasoning: We have three interconnected assumptions: (1) "The files on the disputed CDs also exist on the authentic CDs, the veracity of which has not been challenged by the defendants," but the fraudsters could have planted them on the disputed CDs. (2) The documents in Gölcük were found in a storage area in the counter-intelligence section of the naval base, where the security was not very tight. Since many documents could be leaked to the outside, it is possible that some documents could likewise be brought inside. (3) Hard drive no. 5 from Gölcük was not password protected. Some documents were password protected, but coup documents were not. Therefore, he concludes, anyone who had access to the hard disk could have forged any document.

In other words, from Rodrik's perspective, the military has such a poor security system and such an undisciplined and heedless mentality that anyone can forge the military's documents. If they could do it, then we can assume that they have done it. If we can assume this, then Çetin Doğan is innocent. Well, let us suppose that the documents have been forged, but then how on earth is it possible that no military official has realized it? After the forgery, hasn't anyone had access to them? Or is that they have had access to them and realize what's in them, but they don't care? Rodrik fails to follow the trail of his own reasoning, and therefore he feels obliged to rely excessively on the possibility that there could have been an imaginary criminal.

If coup documents were forged by fraudsters, then how can we explain the anachronisms? Rodrik has an extremely humane, tolerant response to this. "They are isolated instances that obviously crept in as a result of human error," he says. Moreover, he says this in an effort to prove that there was no systematic updating of those documents. That is, there was no systematic updating because anachronisms were clearly the result of human error. Supposing that the anachronisms in the 2003 documents were the result of human errors made by the members of the military, how can he argue that the anachronisms in the “disputed documents” said to have been prepared in 2009 are not the result of the human errors made by the members of the military? Based on the anachronisms in CD no. 11, how can he claim that there was a conspiracy against Çetin Doğan?

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