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

Kyrgyzstan: Antagonism Grows with Turkey Over Gülen Links

In the eyes of the government of Turkey, where Gülen is from, the sprawling building immaculately cast in the bright colors of the red Kyrgyz flag is little short of an incubator of terrorism and plots to subvert the state. Ankara’s antagonism to Gülen’s international influence has deep roots, and the Turkish government’s attempt to link the educator with the recent failed coup is intensifying that animosity. But Kyrgyzstan, which is host to at least a dozen Gülen-linked schools and one university, is holding its ground — up to a point.

Saylorsburg cleric sends statement to Muslim-Catholic conference

A press release prepared by the Alliance for Shared Values says Saylorsburg resident Fethullah Gulen, the prominent Muslim cleric, has urged people of all faiths to come together to address global conflict at the first-ever US Muslim-Catholic Dialogue Conference, which seeks to promote interfaith dialogue and mutual respect worldwide.

Police raid building Fethullah Gülen resided in 55 years ago

Edirne police, joined by a group of gendarmes, stormed a building in the city where US-based Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen resided in 55 years ago when he worked as an imam at the famous Üç Şerefeli Mosque.

Policeman who fought against putchists arrested while getting treatment at hospital

Ekrem Türk, a 34-year old police officer who fought to prevent the advance of army tanks in Turkish capital on the day of failed coup bid of July 15, 2016 was rounded up while he was getting treatment at a private hospital in Ankara.

A reality check on [Turkey coup attempt] from America’s spy chief

Asked whether Turkish allegations that cleric Fethullah Gulen planned the attempted coup passed the “smell test” of credibility, National Intelligence Director James Clapper answered: “No. Not to me.” He said that Secretary John Kerry “was right on the ball” to press the Turks to back up their extradition request with evidence of Gulen’s involvement.

Turkish Cultural Center Vermont gives awards at Friendship Dinner

The Turkish Cultural Center is the Vermont’s premier source of information on Turkey, its history, culture and heritage. TCC awards paid tribute to outstanding individuals and organizations whose contributions markedly strengthen peace, harmony and diversity. TCC recognizes and celebrate the altruism, philanthropy and selfless commitment of distinguished individuals or organizations working toward a better peaceful world.

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

Georgetown University in Qatar professor authors book on interfaith dialogue, Hizmet Movement

Political life and NGOs in Turkey: Journalists and Writers Foundation

Gülen issues message of condolences for slain prosecutor Kiraz

When I met a Gandhian ‘Jihadi’ in America

Scholars at Abant Meeting call for EU negotiations, domestic reform

Turkish cabinet member Bayraktar: Turkish schools abroad will be appreciated better in the future

Kimse Yok Mu distributes aid to Syrian refugees

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News