Confidential General Staff documents obtained by Nordic Monitor have revealed that a senior military officer in charge of inspection and assessment of Turkey’s Air Force units was a womanizer who was linked to an organized crime network and suspected of leaking classified materials.
According to the confidential personal case file maintained at General Staff headquarters, Yaşar Kadıoğlu, the head of the Air Force Evaluation and Inspection Directorate (Hava Kuvvetleri Değerlendirme ve Denetleme Başkanlığı , or DEDENT), was flagged as a target vulnerable to blackmail because of a series of extramarital affairs including one with a prostitute.
He had repeatedly violated regulations in his handling of classified documents in the Air Force units he had worked with, kept secret files in his personal notebook and was suspected of leaking confidential documents in exchange for sexual favors.
Kadıoğlu’s links to an organized crime gang that involved a prostitution ring set up to obtain classified materials from military officers and government bureaucrats were first made public when prosecutors in Izmir indicted multiple suspects in 2011. The cache of documents seized from the suspects incriminated dozens of civilian and military personnel for leaking sensitive information including classified NATO documents to the gang.
Secret Turkish General Staff documents on the allegations against Yaşar Kadıoğlu that led to his ouster from the Air Force:Yasar_Kadioglu_Turkey_Air_Force_General_Staff_documents
Investigators discovered Kadıoğlu’s name in the documents found on a 120 GB Fujitsu hard drive seized from the home of Narin Korkmaz, an escort and prime suspect in the case who was indicted on multiple charges. The same documents were also found on a flash drive seized from Bilgin Özkaynak, the leader of the criminal network. The investigators’ assessment was that the information collected by the operatives eventually ended up in the hands of the group’s leader.
According to the indictment, the gang obtained intimate videos of Kadıoğlu with a woman named Nesiy Emine Yeşil in an extramarital affair and planned to use those videos to blackmail Kadıoğlu in the event he refused to cooperate. His passion for photography, which included taking photos of fighter jets in restricted areas — raising red flags in the Air Force and leading to warnings from his superiors — was mentioned as an asset in his profile for obtaining photos from the Air Force that would otherwise be impossible.
The General Staff documents, dated May 9, 2013, also listed violations allegedly committed by Kadıoğlu, who was taking photos and recording videos of jets loaded with domestically developed missiles and ammunition. His obsession with taking photos of jets, at times going under aircraft in strictly controlled areas before takeoff, put aircraft safety at risk and was reported to base commanders.
The repeated violations led to warnings; yet he continued taking photos and videos for his personal use. The notes in his file say he was obsessed with his hair and always wore a wig.
The General Staff did not promote Kadıoğlu, at the time having the rank of colonel, in August 2015 after the fallout from the indictment and ensuing trial that had exposed his personal life and that presented a conflict of interest with his professional duties. He left the Air Force and soon after took a job in the private sector with the low-cost Pegasus Airline.
The mass purge of Air Force generals and hundreds of combat pilots from the military after a false flag failed coup attempt in July 2016 presented an opportunity for his comeback. Facing a severe shortage in the senior command especially in training units, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan allowed his return to service along with others who had been dismissed from the military due to their criminal records.
While he was out of the Air Force, Kadıoğlu had allegedly worked with Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in identifying pro-NATO officers who were targeted for a purge as part of the Islamist government’s project to transform the Turkish military.
Excerpts from the indictment reveal Kadıoğlu’s links to a criminal gang:Yasar_Kadioglu_Turkey_Air_Force_excerpts_indictment
Kadıoğlu was inducted back into the Air force in November 2016 and the following year was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and assigned as base commander at the Çiğli 2nd Main Jet Base in Izmir. The base is basically a training facility for military pilots. In 2020 he was promoted to major general.
Kadıoğlu’s return to the Air Force raises serious questions about the security vulnerability of NATO’s second largest army in terms of manpower. The gang he was associated with is known to have targeted US and NATO officers deployed at bases in Istanbul and Izmir, according to the indictment.
The operation to spy on foreign military officers was run by former Col. Coşkun Başbuğ, who worked in military intelligence. Başbuğ was indicted for collecting intelligence on behalf of the criminal network by using honey trap schemes in which women were directed to have sex with targets in order to extract information and obtain secret documents.
Today as commander of DEDENT, Kadıoğlu, who was red flagged by the General Staff in 2013 over his conduct and legal troubles, has access to all Air Force units and bases in Turkey and reports directly to the commander of the Air Force. As Turkey is a member of the NATO military alliance, he is also privy to classified NATO materials.