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Calgary man sentenced to 15 years in prison in Turkey: reports

Click to play video: '‘I miss you and I want you to come home safely’: Family pleads for return of Calgary imam detained in Turkey' ‘I miss you and I want you to come home safely’: Family pleads for return of Calgary imam detained in Turkey
WATCH: Aug. 17, 2016 A Calgary family is pleading for the safe return of father and husband Davud Hanci, who is being held on allegations of helping plot a military coup. Sarah Offin reports – Aug 17, 2016

According to news reports from Turkey, a Calgary man who has been held there for the past two years has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Davud Hanci’s family went on a trip to Turkey in 2016. They say they went there to visit Davud’s sick father.

His wife and two children were allowed to return home to Calgary but Davud was arrested. The government had claimed that Davud, a dual citizen of Canada and Turkey, is from Pennsylvania and allegedly helped orchestrate a military coup attempt.

It’s something his family, friends and those in the Turkish community in Calgary adamantly deny.

His wife and two boys have since moved to Toronto to be closer to family.

READ MORE: Jailed Calgary imam Davud Hanci due in Turkish court

Turkey has been under a state of emergency since July of 2016 after a failed military coup attempt that left at least 290 people dead and more than 1,400 injured.

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In June, incumbent president Recep Erdogan was re-elected.

Last week, the state of emergency was lifted.

For the past two years, it had put limits on certain freedoms and extended the detention time for questioning suspects.

READ MORE: Calgary imam Davud Hanci being held in solitary confinement in Turkey, wife says

According to a United Nations report in March 2018, nearly 160,000 people were arrested during the state of emergency and nearly the same number of state employees were dismissed.

Critics have said that president Erdogan used the crackdown to stifle dissent. The Turkish government argued the tough measures were needed to safeguard national security.

WATCH: Critics say Turkey coup attempt used to erode democratic freedoms 

A statement from Global Affairs Canada sent to Global News on Monday reads:

“We are concerned about the recent reports of the sentencing of a Canadian citizen detained in Turkey.

“Global Affairs Canada is in contact with the Canadian citizen and is providing consular services.

“Consular officials have been in contact with local authorities to gather further information and continue to provide consular assistance to the family.

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“Due to the provisions under the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed.”

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