I didn't say need, I said it makes the crankshaft easier to turn.You do not need to remove the spark plugs, and turning the engine isn't very difficult. It will feel like it's clicking into place meaning the ratchet will get easier to spin as you're going through the compression stroke. I have no idea how people here have changed timing belts with this kind of odd advice that makes the job more difficult than it needs to be.
I don't mind being corrected. If you got a better way, please let us know.