Cal­gary man de­tained in Turkey over coup

Traveller ac­cused of failed mil­i­tary at­tack in­no­cent, fam­ily says

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - MADE­LINE SMITH

The fam­ily of a Cana­dian man they say is be­ing held in Turkey on ac­cu­sa­tions he was a leader of the failed July 15 mil­i­tary coup is try­ing to get Davud Hanci’s wife and chil­dren out of the coun­try.

The fam­ily says Hanci was de­tained and his name has ap­peared in Turk­ish me­dia in con­nec­tion with the coup at­tempt.

Sel­man Dur­mus, the brother of Hanci’s wife Rumeysa Hanci, says she called her fam­ily in Toronto as her hus­band was be­ing ar­rested.

Dur­mus last spoke to his sis­ter Sun­day morn­ing and says she isn’t be­ing held, but he and his fam­ily are con­cerned for her and her two young sons’ safety, and want to bring them back to Canada.

Hanci, who lives in Cal­gary and works as an imam (an Is­lamic lead­er­ship po­si­tion) for Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice Canada and Al­berta cor­rec­tional ser­vices, went to Turkey for a holiday with his wife and chil­dren on July 7.

Dur­mus says the fam­ily trav­elled to the Turk­ish city of Trab­zon to visit Hanci’s ail­ing fa­ther. He says his sis­ter is a dual Cana­dian-Turk­ish cit­i­zen, and the cou­ple’s sons were born in Canada.

“As far as we know, at the mo­ment she is OK. But she does feel in dan­ger,” he said.

Turk­ish me­dia re­ports claim Hanci — who a fam­ily friend says is a dual cit­i­zen of Canada and Turkey — is from Penn­syl­va­nia and was work­ing for U.S.-based

cleric Fethul­lah Gulen, a critic and former ally of Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan, Dur­mus said Sun­day.

Dur­mus said he watched Turk­ish me­dia re­ports that called Hanci “the right-hand man” of Fethul­lah Gulen.

“Me­dia sources are say­ing ‘the mas­ter­mind of the coup at­tack.’ ... This guy is just a reg­u­lar guy. He just went to visit his fa­ther. None of the things that they’re claim­ing make any sense,” he said.

Dur­mus said the fam­ily be­lieves some­one may have re­ported Hanci as be­ing in­volved in the coup, and his sis­ter told him Hanci’s cell­phone and his Cana­dian pass­port were con­fis­cated dur­ing the ar­rest.

“We’re try­ing to sort things out be­cause the lives of the kids and the whole fam­ily is in dan­ger right now,” he said. “Who­ever re­ports the fol­low­ers of Fethul­lah Gulen ... they’re at­tack­ing in­no­cent peo­ple.”

A spokesper­son for Global Af­fairs said in an email Satur­day night that the de­part­ment is “aware of a Cana­dian dual cit­i­zen de­tained in Turkey” and that Cana­dian con­sular of­fi­cials are stand­ing ready to as­sist if needed.

Turkey has im­posed a three­month state of emer­gency and de­tained or dis­missed tens of thou­sands of peo­ple in the mil­i­tary, the ju­di­ciary, the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and other in­sti­tu­tions. Turk­ish lead­ers al­lege that sup­port­ers of Gulen in­fil­trated state agen­cies and groomed loy­al­ists in a vast net­work of pri­vate schools as part of an elab­o­rate, long-term plan to take over the coun­try.

Turkey an­nounced Satur­day it had seized more than 2,250 so­cial, ed­u­ca­tional or health care in­sti­tu­tions and fa­cil­i­ties that it claims pose a threat to na­tional se­cu­rity.

Gulen has de­nied any knowl­edge of the at­tempted coup.

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