National Newswatch

TORONTO — A family friend says a Canadian man is being held in Turkey on accusations he was a leader of the failed July 15 military coup in that country.

Davud Hanci, who lives in Calgary and works as an imam for Correctional Service Canada and Alberta correctional services, went to Turkey for a holiday on July 7.

Malik Muradov says Hanci and his family went to Turkey to visit his ailing father.

Muradov says Hanci's wife called her family in Canada as they were being detained and they haven't been heard from since, but says Hanci's name has appeared in Turkish media in connection with the coup attempt.

Muradov says the reports claim Hanci — who he 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.

A spokeswoman for Global Affairs says 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 three-month 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.

- With files from The Associated Press


The Canadian Press

Click here for more political news headlines