Friends of Charman Smith, a woman from the Carcross First Nation in Southern Yukon who is in a Turkish prison wants the federal government to bring her home.
“It should be a priority to get her back as it would be with any other Canadian,” said friend Mike Bramadat-Willcock.
Smith has been imprisoned in Turkey for more than a year.
According to Bramadat-Willcock, his friend was duped.
“The consistent story is that she was taken to Turkey on the premise of going on vacation and some guys paid for her ticket from Canada to Turkey,” said Mike Bramadat-Willcock.
“And once she was in Turkey she was arrested at the airport because they found drugs in her bag.”
The federal government will only confirm that Consular Affairs in Turkey is providing assistance to a Canadian citizen in prison and to their family.
But officials will not say why or where in the country they are being held.
Smith’s last post on Facebook was on May 15, 2016. There is no mention of being in Turkey of travelling overseas.
Yukon’s member of parliament is receiving some information.
“Yes there is a Yukon citizen in the Turkish prison,” said Liberal MP Larry Bagnell.
“My understanding is that it was a drug-related charge and that she was intercepted caring some drugs and I don’t know any more details than that – where she was coming from or anything.
The concern from friends is that Smith has epilepsy.
“The Canadian consular staff are well aware of it, their meeting with her and making sure that her medical needs are taken care of – the family also has been contacted,” Bagnell said.
Bagnell said the government has been in contact with Turkish officials for more than a year.
“I haven’t heard indirectly from her or consular officials that there are any dangers other than what you would have in a Turkish prison,” he said.
Bramadat-Willcock said he would like to see more done to get his friend home.
APTN News reached out to Smith’s family and members of the Carcross Tagish First Nation to comment – but they have declined.
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