Wife of Calgary imam held in Turkey on coup allegations, says he still has no lawyer

Davud Hanci, in white shirt at right, hosts MP Michelle Rempel at his family home in Calgary.
Davud Hanci, in white shirt at right, hosts MP Michelle Rempel at his family home in Calgary.


Date posted: September 7, 2016

CBC News

PM Trudeau spoke to Turkish officials about Hanci; family getting updates from Canadian government.

The wife of a Calgary imam being held in prison near Istanbul, Turkey says she was pleased to hear that Prime Minister Trudeau recently spoke to Turkish officials about the matter.

He was arrested in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt earlier this summer, which prompted officials to round up and detain some 35,000 people.

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

Rumeysa Hanci says her husband Davud had nothing to do with the attempt to overthrow the government. She says the family is still trying to get a lawyer for him.

“I am so upset. Like, my husband was detained, you know, wrongfully and, like, he doesn’t deserve to be there,” she said.

There is no word on how Turkish officials reacted to Trudeau bringing up the matter at a side meeting in Hangzhou, China, where he was taking part in the G20 summit.

Hanci says the family has had limited contact with her husband, but she did get a letter from him on the weekend.

“He says he’s OK and he’s worrying about us because he didn’t hear from us, too,” she said.

‘I want him to come home very soon’

It has been reported that he is suspected by Turkish officials of having ties to the Hizmet movement, also known as the Gulen movement, which is described as a global network based on the teachings of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a critic and former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey alleges that Gulen orchestrated the failed July 15 military coup. Gulen has repeatedly denied the claims.

Hanci, who works as an imam for Correctional Service Canada and the Alberta correctional services, went to Turkey with his family on July 7 to visit his ailing father.

Rumeysa Hanci and the couple’s two young sons were allowed to leave Turkey early last month. The three of them are currently staying with family in Ontario.

Rumeysa says she’s hopeful Trudeau’s meeting with Turkish officials will help her husband’s case.

The family says it has been receiving updates from the Canadian government since he was detained.

They’re also appealing for help from human rights organizations.

“I want him to come home very soon,” Hanci said.

Source: CBC News , September 6, 2016


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