Calgary’s Turkish community is championing for the release of one of their prominent membesr who they believe was wrongly arrested overseas.

Friends of Halis Davud Hanci, a 40-year-old father who works as an imam with Correctional Service Canada, say he had returned to Turkey with his wife and his children, aged 8 and 9,  to visit his ailing father. On Saturday morning, Hanci and his wife called family members in Toronto informing them of their arrest.

According to Turkish media outlets who circulated a photograph of a man they identify as Halis Hanci from Pennsylvania, Hanci was involved in last week’s attempted coup and is thought to be a friend of Fethullah Gulen.

But friends of Halis Davud Hanci, who goes by Davud, say the man in the photograph circulated by Turkish media bears no resemblance to the Calgarian.

Malik Muradov of the Intercultural Dialogue Institute in Calgary does not believe his friend was involved in the attempt to overthrow the Turkish government despite the fact Hanci is a sympathizer.

“Everybody knows Fethullah Gulen,”explained Muradov.  “(Hanci) reads his books as well he likes his ideas. Yes, he does know Fethullah Gulen but they don’t have any personal relationship. They might have been able to see each other but there’s no regular relationship that they have."

In a statement to CTV, Global Affairs Canada says it is aware of the detainment of a Canadian with dual-citizenship in Turkey. The organization has been in contact with the man’s family and is ready to offer assistance.

With files from CTV's Rahim Ladhani