Kutan graduated from Istanbul Technical University, Department of Civil Engineering in 1952. Until 1973, he worked as an engineer in various projects including the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP). His political career started 1973 in National Salvation Party and after 1983 he served in Welfare Party.
He was Minister of Energy in 1996 in a coalition led by Welfare Party. At the 3rd party congress held on October 26, 2008 in Ankara, he did not run for his re-election as the leader of the Felicity Party, and was succeeded by Numan Kurtulmuş. He is a member of the Community of İskenderpaşa, a Turkish sufistic community of the Naqshbandi tariqah.