Enes Kanter may never be able to return to the country that he is a certified citizen of. According to Yahoo!, the country of Turkey has issued an arrest warrant for the Oklahoma City Thunder forward, with the Turkish government accusing Kanter of belonging to a “terror group.”
Kanter was recently detained after landing in Romania, when customs agents told him that Turkey had suspended his passport. The Swiss-born NBA star has been very outspoken against Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he has compared to Adolf Hitler.
A judge issued the arrest warrant after an Istanbul prosecutor opened an investigation into Kanter’s alleged “membership of an armed terrorist organisation”, Sabah daily reported.
Kanter, 25, a centre for Oklahoma City Thunder, previously backed Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen in Twitter postings after an attempted putsch last July aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey accuses US-based Gulen of ordering the failed coup and refers to the movement as the “Fethullah Terrorist Organisation” (FETO). Gulen denies the claims.
The arrest warrant refers to Kanter’s alleged use of an encrypted messaging application called Bylock, Sabah said, which Turkey claims was especially created for Gulen supporters.
It also referred to Kanter’s “praise for a terror organisation” in messages via his social media accounts, the daily reported.
Kanter was eventually released from Romania, and made it to London, England, before eventually flying back to the United States. It sounds like he should maybe stay in the U.S. for a while.
For his part, Kanter isn’t backing down from his comments. Last week he wrote about the controversy in The Players Tribune, and tweeted out on the weekend that he will continue to fight for what he believes is right.
Stand For What You Believe!
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 26, 2017