CENTCOM advisor sent back to Turkey; local charges dropped

Turkish CENTCOM advisor Huseyin Kurtdere is no longer in the Hillsborough County Jail or even in the United States. Court records show he is now in the custody of the Turkish government.  

"Although this defendant committed crimes here in the state of Florida, he is still subject to the international treaty,” explained attorney Anthony Rickman, who reviewed the court documents for FOX 13.

Kurtdere is a member of the Turkish military and had been working at CENTCOM as an advisor. 

As permitted by the NATO treaty, Turkish officials requested Kurtdere be extradited back to Turkey to face criminal prosecution. So two weeks ago he was sent back.

"It may be worse for this individual to head back to Turkey. It’s a black mark on his own country come to the United States and in the state of Florida and kill his wife," said Rickman. 

Turkish government wants CENTCOM advisor to face charges in Turkey, not U.S.

Turkey wants to handle the case of Huseyin Kurtdere, a major in the Turkish military who was accused of several crimes after his wife was found dead in their apartment.

Kurtdere was arrested this summer in connection with his wife’s death. Prosecutor Tony Falcone says Kurtdere held his wife against her will in front of their three children. He claimed she was acting erratic and suffering post-partum depression.

"The defendant admitted to restrain his wife by tying her up. At the time of death, the victim was found and had a sock stuck in her mouth," said Falcone. 

Turkish Centcom advisor drugged, tied up wife before she died, prosecutors say

During a first appearance hearing, Hillsborough prosecutor Tony Falcone told the judge defendant Huseyin Kurtdere held his wife captive against her will in their Tampa apartment in front of their three children.

Falcone says he also drugged her. "He also stated that he gave her a substance, melatonin, without her knowledge and that she had also taken prescribed drugs.”

During his only appearance in court, a Tampa judge ordered Kurtdere to stay away from his children if he made bond. The three children have been in the custody of Child Protective Services in the United States; it’s unclear if they will remain here.