NBA player claims passport revoked for criticizing Turkish president
I'm being held at Romanian airport by Police!! pic.twitter.com/uYZMBqKx54
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 20, 2017
An NBA player accused the Turkish government of having “cancelled” his passport in Romania as punishment for his critical views of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Enes Kanter, who was traveling through Europe, posted a video to Twitter on Saturday claiming the Turkish embassy cancelled his passport, leaving him stranded in Romania.
“We are in Romania and they said they cancelled my passport by [the] Turkish embassy,” said Kanter, a player for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“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 slammed Erdogan, citing the recent violent clash that occurred earlier this week when Erdogan’s bodyguards were seen on video roughing up protestors outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.
“You guys know him,” Kanter continued. “He has attacked the people in Washington. He is a bad, bad man. He is a dictator and he is the Hitler of our century.”
Top lawmakers like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) condemned the attack on protestors.
“This is the United States of America,” McCain said. “We do not do this here. There is no excuse for this kind of thuggish behavior.”
Kanter supports Erdogan’s adversary, Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.
Erdogan alleged Gulen was behind the failed coup attempt last summer.
Erdogan has cracked down on journalists and Gulen supporters who speak out against his regime, leading to hundreds of arrests.