Calgarian jailed in failed Turkish coup goes before judge on Wednesday

A Calgary man's family and friends will be hoping and praying as Davud Hanci goes before a Turkish judge on Wednesday, months after he was arrested in Turkey in the wake of a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Hanci, who has dual Canadian and Turkish citizenship, is accused of being a leader in the attempted coup and has been locked up since July. CBC News could not confirm specifically what he's been charged with. 

His family is not sure what will happen on Wednesday, whether he could be sentenced, whether his case could be thrown out and he's set free, or whether he will simply be detained longer. 

"It is so overwhelming ... but I'm trying to stay strong," said his wife, Rumeysa Hanci, who moved from Calgary to Toronto with her two sons following Davud's arrest to be close to family. 

Hanci is being held at a prison outside of Istanbul. He will appear via video link at a court in Trabzon, in Turkey's Black Sea region, where he was arrested.

His family said Hanci was arrested after a tip from an anonymous man — who has also lived in Canada. That man will testify today.

Thousands rounded up

Her husband is suspected of having close ties to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the increasingly authoritarian Turkish regime accuses of masterminding the attempted coup.

Gulen denies those claims. 

Hanci is involved with an interfaith group that has ties to Gulen.

Thousands of people, including journalists, have been rounded up in the crackdown that followed the failed coup. Some reports peg the number of Turkish citizens arrested or ousted from their jobs at more than 130,000 over the past seven months. 

Hanci works as an imam for Correctional Service Canada and the Alberta correctional services.

He went to Turkey with his family on July 7 to visit his ailing father and was swept up in the crackdown following the July 15 coup attempt.

In November, a Global Affairs spokesperson said Canadian consular officials in Turkey "have been in contact with local authorities since the beginning and are in regular contact with the Canadian citizen's family to provide consular assistance."

'It's heartbreaking is what it is'

Rumeysa says her husband had nothing to do with the attempt to overthrow the government, but she's not convinced the truth will come out. 

"It is all complicated. There's no, right now, not really fair trial. So I don't know what's going to happen," she said. 

"I just hope. I'm hoping and praying."

"I can't even begin to put myself in the position either Mrs. Hanci or her children are in," said Evan Careclakis, a Calgary teacher at the school the Hanci children attended.

"I mean it's heartbreaking is what it is," he said.

Support in Calgary

Careclakis says teachers and parents at Rosemont School who know the Hancis are hoping for the best outcome. 

Rumeysa says she is grateful for their continued support.

"I'm so lucky, really, like, I have very good friends in Calgary, so it's a gift for me," she said.