Çiçek was arrested by court order late Tuesday but was released by a higher court a day later. A document found as part of the Ergenekon investigation bearing his signature made headlines after daily Taraf published it in mid-June.
The document contained plans to discredit the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and the religious movement led by cleric Fethullah Gülen. The plan allegedly called for manipulation of the media and stirring of nationalist angst. It was first claimed that the report was prepared by the Office of the Chief of Staff, but the office’s prosecutors dismissed the claim and announced there was no evidence implicating Çiçek. An Istanbul court on Wednesday did not admit the document, which the military said was a forgery, as evidence, deciding that there were no grounds for Çiçek’s continued incarceration.
The lower court had ordered Çiçek’s arrest for membership of an illegal group. Several retired and active officers have been arrested in the Ergenekon case, in which an illegal gang is accused of trying to instigate a military coup by committing a range of crimes to create social disorder. Approximately 140 people are already on trial in the case, which has been ongoing for two years. Critics have called the probe a crackdown on the ruling party’s opponents.