Family, friends losing hope as Calgary imam arrested in Turkey remains imprisoned

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: July 26, 2017

Shawn Logan

For a year, Calgary imam Davud Hanci has spent most of his days in solitary confinement in Turkey, accused of being a terrorist linked to failed 2016 coup attempt.

Last week, Hanci made his latest court appearance, which like many others before resulted in prosecutors working for the government of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan petitioning the judge for more time to gather evidence, leaving the the dual-Canadian and Turkish citizen the languish in prison, with no resolution in sight.

“They’re just holding him there and they don’t want to release him because they don’t have any real evidence,” said Malik Muradov, executive director of Calgary’s Intercultural Dialogue Institute and a friend of Hanci.

“He’s just in limbo.”

Hanci was arrested on July 23, 2016, a week after a failed military coup, accused in state media of being the right hand man of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S. cleric who is the founder of the Hizmet, an Islamic social and educational movement, labeled a terrorist organization by the Erdogan government in December 2015.

He remains imprisoned at a jail in Sakarya Province, east of Istanbul.

Family and associates of Hanci, who works as an imam for Correctional Service Canada, said he had returned to his homeland last summer along with his wife and two young sons to visit his father, who had been suffering with heart issues.

But he was soon swept up in mass arrests in the country during the aftermath of the failed coup, among the tens of thousands of Turkish citizens detained, among them journalists, educators and bureaucrats.

Following his arrest, Turkish media released photos of a man who looks like Hanci, suggesting he was from Pennsylvania and was working for U.S.-based Gulen, a longtime critic and former ally of Erdogan, a contention that perplexed family and friends who have steadfastly maintained his innocence.

Hansi’s wife, Rumeysa, has claimed that he was suffered psychological torture during his imprisonment and he has had minimal contact with family and limited access to his lawyer.

Most troubling for Muradov is the fact that through numerous appearances before a judge, he’s yet to be charged with any crimes, with state prosecutors continuing to delay the case as they attempt to find some evidence that would link him to the coup.

“It’s unbelievable what’s happening — it’s against international law and human rights that people are being persecuted for being associated with a movement,” said Muradov, who admits to being a devotee of the Hizmet movement.

“He should have been released by now. It’s been a year and he’s been in solitary confinement.

“I can’t imagine what he’s going through.”

Reached last week in Toronto, Hansi’s sister-in-law Ruveyda Durmus said his wife is still struggling with the extended detention, and the family fears speaking publicly about his case could be used against him by Turkish prosecutors.

“We’re starting to lose hope,” she said.

Like Hansi’s family, Muradov said he’s also beginning to lose hope, and fears that his friend could remain imprisoned indefinitely.

“There are so many people now who are trapped in Turkey or in jail,” he said.

“It is painful, and there’s only one hope and that’s for God — there’s nothing else we can hope for to help him.”

 

Source: Calgary Sun , July 24, 2017


Related News

Inside Turkey’s Purge

The police officers came to the doctor’s door in Istanbul at 6 a.m. and one of them said, “You are accused of attempting to kill President Erdogan.” The doctor couldn’t help it; he laughed. “Really? I did that?” The police officers smiled, too. “Yes. Also for attempting to destroy Turkey and for being a member of a terrorist organization.”

Turkey’s Hizmet Purge Is Seeping into the UK Creating Fear in Some Communities

Over the weekend, we have received 5 reports from individuals who are involved in the delivery of social services here in the UK and who are of Turkish heritage. The text messages ask for individuals to inform on members of the Hizmet movement. The impact of these messages is to create fear within members of the Hizmet movement in the UK and who are active in social work within and beyond Muslim communities.

Funeral prayer held for Turkish volunteer Zengindemir in Oklahoma City

During the memorial ceremony, a message sent by Oklahoma State Governor Mary Fallin was read. “I am so saddened to learn of the passing of Murat. Although his time on Earth was short, he leaves a lasting impact upon the state of Oklahoma with his cheerful and kind heart. He worked tirelessly to foster a better understanding of different cultures and the importance of building relationships. I always enjoyed seeing him and appreciated his support.

TURKISH FOUNDATION HIT IN ARSON GETS POLICE PROTECTION; 2ND GROUP VICTIMIZED

The municipality of Deventer will be placing surveillance cameras at the building of Turkish foundation Gouden Generatie on Tuesday. The building was set aflame on Saturday. Until the new cameras are in place, police surveillance will be intensified around the building, a spokesperson for the municipality said to RTL Nieuws.

Turkey jails disabled teacher after dismissing him and wife from profession

Denizli-based teacher Raşit Uzantı has been arrested days after he was dismissed from his profession along with her wife who used to work at a state hospital in Denizli. Raşit was recovering only recently from the repercussions of a brain surgery he underwent a while ago.

Pregnant with twins, Kocaeli woman detained during control at hospital

Nuriye Yalcin, a Kocaeli woman who is expected to deliver twin babies in 4.5 months was detained during a regular medical control at Izmit Medical Park Hospital on Tuesday.

Latest News

Turkish Food Festival seeks to teach Greenville about Turkey’s culture and cuisine

Chestnut Retreat Center offers a look inside their Saylorsburg facility and its mission

Erdoğan’s overarching purge is not a road accident

Is Gulen the scapegoat of Ankara crisis?

Post-coup purge in Turkey leaves children parentless after mother and father are put behind bars

Turkey’s post-coup purge and persecution makes no exception for children

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences for the Beirut Explosion

Turkish Cultural Center Hosts Food Drive

Hizmet movement demonized by Erdogan regime but loved abroad

In Case You Missed It

Gülen’s speech broadcast live for first time after website banned

Alevi associations react against halt of mosque-cemevi project

Coup attempt in 2016 was Erdoğan’s Reichstag fire

World’s oldest temple closed to visitors due to excavation team links with Gülen

Turkish headmaster accused of Isis links met Malaysian PM, not fit profile of an Isis operative

‘Inception,’ the Gülen community and the PKK

Sacred, Secular, Twin Tolerations and the Hizmet Movement

Copyright 2020 Hizmet News