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NBA player Enes Kanter claims Turkey arrested his father

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An NBA player who claimed last month that the Turkish embassy detained him at a Romanian airport said on Friday that his father had been arrested by the Turkish government and could face torture.

Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter said last month that he was being held at the airport in Bucharest, Romania after the Turkish embassy in that country cancelled his passport. He claimed that his opposition to the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spurred the incident.


Kanter, a Swiss-born Turkish citizen, is a vocal critic of Erdoğan and has repeatedly called him “the Hitler of our century.” Kanter is a supporter for Fethullah Gülen, the Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric whom Erdogan has accused of orchestrating a failed coup last year.

ESPN reported that the Turkish government issued a warrant for Kanter’s arrest last week, alleging that he is a member of a terrorist group. That warrant, ESPN noted, is likely to prevent Kanter from traveling abroad.

Kanter’s support of Gülen and frequent criticism of Erdoğan reportedly drove a wedge between himself and his family. His father, Mehmet Kanter, disavowed his son’s political views last year in a pro-government Turkish newspaper. 

“I apologize to the Turkish people and the president for having such a son,” he wrote. 


Tags Enes Kanter Enes Kanter Mehmet Kanter Oklahoma City Thunder Politics of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Turkey
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