January 16, 2017
The “imam” of the General Staff was Muhammet Uslu, a former cleaning worker who built up an “irrepressible career” due to his Gülenist links, daily Hürriyet columnist Abdülkadir Selvi wrote on Aug. 3.
Uslu was employed as a cleaning worker between July 7 and Aug. 15, 2000, and then graduated from Anadolu University in Ankara. He started living in Gülen movement houses while studying there, according to Selvi.
The movement then reportedly found him a job in the Gülhane Military Hospital’s (GATA) Health Foundation as soon as he graduated and he did his military service in GATA’s Support Command.
“When his military service ended, he was assigned to work in [the eastern province of] Kars as a teacher. He worked there for two or three years and then was assigned to Ankara as an assistant manager in a short while. His rise in the bureaucracy continued as his position in the Gülen movement increased,” Selvi wrote, adding that opponents in the exams Uslu took either didn’t show up or retracted their applications to take the exams.
His career in the Gülen movement ended up with him becoming the “imam” of the General Staff.
Imam, which traditionally refers to a religious public worker, is a term used by the Gülenist organization to mark local leadership.
Uslu was mentioned as a “brother” in the testimony of Infantry Lt. Col. Levent Türkkan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar’s aide, who previously confessed his allegiance to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
Türkkan also said they had bugged the rooms of Akar and the former army chief Necdet Özel, which was also mentioned in Uslu’s testimony.
“Türkkan, who used the code name ‘Ahmet,’ and ‘Salih’ code-named Gökhan Eski, who was working in the general staff, bugged the room of the chief of general staff and brought the device that we called ‘a radio’ to me after it was full. I was giving them an empty one afterwards. We listened to the army chief for a long time for the Gülen movement,” Uslu said in his testimony.
Uslu’s house was among the places where the July 15 failed coup attempt was discussed, without him being present, according to the testimony.
Muhammet Uslu, a putschist who worked as the private secretariat at the prime ministry, confessed over the weekend in his testimony that he provided the equipment to wiretap the chief of staff.
In his testimony, Uslu confessed that he planted recording devices on the phones of Levent Türkkan, the aide-de camp of the chief of staff, and Gökhan Seki, an employee at the presidency of generall staff, to eavesdrop on the chief of staff's room.
Uslu said that he would take the recording devices back when they were full.
Uslu, codenamed 'Murat', also confessed that he was in touch with 22 Gülenist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) members, most of which were soldiers in the military.
Uslu said that he was a teacher by profession, but was recommended to the prime ministry's private secretariat by Gülenist deputy secretaries Ercan Demirci and Ahmet Emre Bilgili. (2)