Davud Hanci’s wife says Calgary imam detained in Turkey ‘a very peaceful man’

Rumeysa Hanci, wife of Calgary imam Davud Hanci who is imprisoned in Turkey, breaks down as she talks about her family's situation in Calgary. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)
Rumeysa Hanci, wife of Calgary imam Davud Hanci who is imprisoned in Turkey, breaks down as she talks about her family's situation in Calgary. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)


Date posted: August 19, 2016

LAUREN KRUGEL

Rumeysa Hanci breaks down in tears when she recounts how she spent her 13th wedding anniversary, travelling home to Calgary from Turkey and not knowing when she would see her husband, Davud, again.

She said Turkish authorities have not explained why they have imprisoned the imam, who has Canadian and Turkish citizenship.

Allegations in Turkish media that he was involved in last month’s coup attempt make no sense to Rumeysa.

“My husband is a very gentle and kind man,” she said, sitting at the dining room table of the family’s northwest Calgary house, photos spread out in front of her showing the couple beaming on their wedding day and Davud’s face sandwiched between those of his grinning sons.

“He’s not involved with any violence. He’s a very peaceful man.”

Davud’s job involves counselling prison inmates in Alberta to help them develop a “peaceful understanding of life,” Rumeysa said.

The couple and their sons — Cemil, 8, and Vedat, 9 — travelled to Turkey last month to see Davud’s ailing father in Trabzon, on the coast of the Black Sea.

They were visiting with an uncle on the night of July 23 when they got word authorities wanted to question Davud. He and his brother went to city hall to talk to police.

Turkey Coup Cda 20160817

A photo of a wedding photo of Rumeysa Hanci, right, and imam Davud Hanci, shown in Calgary. Imam Davud Hanci has been imprisoned in Turkey. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

Rumeysa, meanwhile, called her sister in Toronto, who contacted Global Affairs Canada.

Around 3 a.m. the next morning, police searched the home where the family was staying.

Rumeysa said she hasn’t been able to get an explanation from Turkish authorities about what her husband is accused of doing.

But Turkish news reports say Davud has ties to Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric who the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a July 15 coup attempt.

Gulen, a former ally turned critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has denied any involvement.

Mass arrests

Since a state of emergency was declared in the failed coup’s aftermath, some 35,000 people have been detained for questioning.

More than 17,000 of them have been formally arrested to face trial, including soldiers, police, judges and journalists.

On Wednesday, Turkey began conditionally releasing 38,000 inmates in an apparent move to make space in prisons for those arrested in connection with the failed coup.

Rumeysa saw her husband a few days after he was detained, but there was only time for him to tell her, through cell bars across the hall, that he was OK.

She said he looked tired.

A couple of days after that, he was allowed a phone call about two or three minutes long during which various family members had a turn on the line.

“My kids, they told him that they were missing him.”

That was the last time anyone in the family spoke to Davud, who Rumeysa said has since been moved to a prison some 800 kilometres away.

Embassy staff haven’t seen Davud

Some representatives from the Canadian embassy tried to meet with Davud in the days following his arrest, but were unsuccessful, Rumeysa said. He has not yet been able to meet with a lawyer.

Turkey Coup Cda 20160817

Rumeysa Hanci, wife of Calgary imam Davud Hanci, who is imprisoned in Turkey, talks about her family’s situation in Calgary. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

Rumeysa and the boys landed in Calgary last Tuesday. They are planning on staying with family in Toronto for a while.

In the meantime, she’s tying up loose ends in Calgary and trying to navigate life without her family’s sole breadwinner. Tasks like suspending Davud’s car insurance and cellphone payments in a bid to save money have been a struggle. She has been exhausted and physically ill since she got back.

The boys are having a tough time, too. Rumeysa said Davud goes out of his way to make time for bike rides and soccer games, even after long days driving to and from prisons around Alberta.

“They are, of course, very sad and they need their father.”

Global Affairs spokesman Austin Jean said the Canadian government remains concerned about Davud and another Turkish Canadian, Ilhan Erdem, who was arrested last month at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

“Canadian officials are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance,” he said. “In the interests of the clients, further details cannot be released.”

Rumeysa said she’s hopeful.

“I have a lot of faith in the Canadian government. They can do their best in their power to bring my husband home safely,” she says.

“The only thing I want is my husband back.”

Source: CBC News , Aug 17, 2016


Related News

PM Erdoğan has one tone for Brussels, another for Turkey

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shifted his rhetoric on his official visit to Brussels, dropping talk of a “parallel state” that is trying to unseat him when addressing European Union officials and foreign journalists — although he continued his defamation campaign against the Hizmet movement in meetings where he addressed Turkish audiences.

Turkey Faces International Trouble for Persecuting Gulen’s Schools

Ankara-The Turkish authorities’ pursuit of Fethullah Gulen’s schools is damaging Turkey’s relations with some countries that host schools of “Hizmet Movement” (Service Movement of Gulen), classified by Ankara as a terrorist organization.

Purges at Turkish Airlines continue after PM’s ‘witch hunt’ remarks

Yılmaz, who has worked for the company for 20 years, is among a group of high-level THY employees who have been reassigned in recent months, most of whom were graduates from Fatih University, an institution linked to the Hizmet movement, inspired by US-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Scapegoating: Turkish PM again blames Gülen movement for worsening economy

As the Turkish lira plunged even further on Friday, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım claimed the Gülen movement was responsible for the deterioration in the country’s economic outlook. According to Yıldırım, “separatists” and sympathizers of the Gülen movement are working hard to ruin the Turkish economy in the eyes of the world.

Turkey’s recent view from the US

The way the AK Party has proposed new laws to increase government control over judges and prosecutors and how many investigations have slowed down have raised suspicions that the government might be trying to hide corruption. The censorship of Turkish media and the recent attempts to change laws about the Internet to easily increase censorship are raising concern.

AK Party VP Sahin: We can only be grateful to Hizmet people

Vice President of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Mehmet Ali Şahin remarked on the relations between AK Party and the Hizmet Movement (Gulen movement) in an interview*. Şahin said, “Is it possible for us to have any issue with the people performing such activities? We can be only grateful to them. We […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Turkish aid organizations rushes aid to Philippines

Newly-released journo offers insider view at victims of Turkey Purge

Biden’s office refutes Turkish minister’s claim that US has proof Gülenists plotted coup

Who are these pro-Erdogan mobs who even beheaded a soldier?

Documents reveal how military carried out campaign against the Gulen [Hizmet] movement

Targeted by dictator, Turkish family seeks refuge in Albany

Which is the bigger threat, Turkey’s coup or Erdogan’s response?

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News