NBA player in London after passport allegedly revoked for criticizing Turkish president


An NBA player who claimed he was being detained at an airport in Romania for his critical views of Turkey’s president has been released. 

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Enes Kanter, a center for the Oklahoma City Thunder, had made is safely to London. Kanter himself posted a message on Twitter, declaring himself “all good” and saying that he would hold a press conference on Sunday.

In a video posted on Twitter Saturday morning, Kanter said that his passport had been “cancelled” by the Turkish embassy because of his criticisms of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he called “a dictator” and “the Hitler of our century.”


“We are in Romania and they said they cancelled my passport by [the] Turkish embassy,” said Kanter, a Swiss-born Turkish citizen. 

“The reason behind it is just, of course, my political views and the guy who did it is, you know, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey.”

Kanter is a supporter of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric and Turkish exile who currently resides in Pennsylvania. Gulen is a bitter opponent of Erdogan, and the Turkish president has sought to pressure the U.S. to extradite the cleric back to Turkey.

Erdogan blamed Gulen last year for a failed coup, and his government has arrested thousands of people believed to be supporters of the exiled cleric.

Tags Enes Kanter Fethullah Gülen Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

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