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Embassy Row Lecture Series: The Balyoz & Ergenekon Prosecutions

January 30, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Admiral Deniz Kutluk

TASC Embassy Row Lecture Series

How the Balyoz and Ergenekon Prosecutions Changed my Life Forever

Admiral Deniz Kutluk (Ret.) Shares his Experience

Admiral Deniz Kutluk (Ret.) was a rising star in the Turkish military. An expert in the Law of the Sea, Aegean Sea, Cyprus, and Eastern Mediterranean at the Turkish General Staff Division on Plans and Policy (1996-1998), Chief of the Turkish General Staff Intelligence Department (1999-2001), Turkish General Staff Director of Resource and Defence Planning (2007-2008), Admiral Kutluk was destined to lead at the top of the Turkish military.

But followers of Fethullah Gülen who had infiltrated the military forced his retirement in 2009. Admiral Kutulk recovered from the ouster, and became the manager of a pharmaceutical company that quickly rose to No.1 in sales in Turkey. Meanwhile he informed the Turkish authorities of the formation of a parallel system of government in which the democratically elected government of Turkey would be subservient to an obscure network accountable to only one authority, Fethullah Gülen.

Just as he was obtaining traction, the Balyoz and Ergenekon scandals erupted, and Admiral Kutluk was detained for four years on false charges that he was a part of a group of military officers who were plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected Turkish government. Admiral Kutluk speaks out about how Gulenist elements in the prosecutor’s office and judge’s chambers mobilized a prosecution against him and more than 700 of his colleagues.

All of the cases were eventually dropped, but it was too late for Deniz Kutuluk and his colleagues. Admiral Kutluk had lost his military career. He received an apology from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and became eligible for indemnification for false charges and false imprisonment.

After his release from prison, Admiral Kutluk became the Executive Director of an Indian IT company. He later became the chairman of the board of one of Turkey’s leading defence companies. He is currently a professor at the University of Ankara Faculty of Law, LLM program. He has dedicated his personal time to informing the public about FETO (Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization).