Enes Kanter's dad becomes pawn in Turkey's fight with Knicks center

Paola Ditto
Giugno 19, 2018

Enes Kanter's father, Dr. Mehmet Kanter, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Turkish government, who issued an arrest warrant for him, according to reports out of Turkey. Enes, who learned the news this morning via multiple Turkish media reports, believes this is the government's way of attacking and punishing him for being an outspoken critic of Turkish president Recep Erdogan.

Oklahoma City's Enes Kanter (11) moves to the basket against Houston's Clint Capela (15) during Game 3 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, April 21, 2017. They were after a prison term of five to 10 years at trial, Anadolu Agency said.

It's unclear when the trial in western Tekirdag province would begin.

Cleric Fethullah Gulen has denied the allegation, but tens of thousands of people suspected of ties to his network have been arrested or fired.

Anadolu said the indictment alleges he contacted some 120 suspects with alleged links to Gulen, including dozens who were said to have communicated through an encrypted messaging application. Last year, Enes was detained at a Romanian airport because the Turkish government invalidated his passport.

"No matter what happens, I will continue to keep fighting for human rights and freedom of speech, justice and democracy above all", Kanter told Bleacher Report in a statement. "All I'm doing is trying to be the voice of all those innocent people".

Prosecutors charged Kanter in December with insulting the president in a series of tweets. The government said the crackdown was needed to fight alleged acts of terror.

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