Turkish prosecutors are looking for a world arrest warrant for Knicks middle Enes Kanter, accusing him of membership in a terrorist group.
The Sabah newspaper stated the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s workplace had additionally ready an extradition request for Kanter, a Turkish citizen who has been a vocal critic of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the nation’s president. Officers on the prosecutor’s workplace couldn’t be reached by The Related Press for remark.
Kanter, who didn’t journey with the Knicks this week for his or her sport in London after saying he feared he is perhaps killed there over his opposition to Erdogan, responded on Twitter that the Turkish authorities couldn’t current “any single piece of proof of my wrongdoing.”
“I don’t also have a parking ticket within the U.S.,” he wrote Wednesday. In a subsequent tweet, he posted a picture of himself dunking and wrote, “The one factor I terrorize is the rim.”
Kanter’s Turkish passport was revoked in 2017. Now, Sabah stated, prosecutors are looking for an Interpol “pink discover” citing Kanter’s ties to Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Muslim cleric who’s blamed by the Turkish authorities for a failed coup in the country in 2016. The prosecutors also accused Kanter of providing financial support to the so-called Gulen movement, Sabah said.
When Kanter announced on Jan. 4 that he would not travel with the Knicks, who play the Washington Wizards at The O2 arena on Thursday, he said he feared assassination if he left the United States or Canada.
“The N.B.A. provides a big platform to shed light on the human rights violations in Turkey and gives a voice to the thousands of people persecuted,” Kanter said in an interview with The New York Times last week. “This platform allows me to speak my mind.”
The team said at the time Kanter would not make the trip because of a visa issue.
Kanter denied that was the problem, posting a photo of a travel document on social media and making it clear his concern was hazard from brokers of Erdogan, whom he has known as “the Hitler of our century.”
“They’ve received a whole lot of spies there,” Kanter stated. “I believe I can get killed there straightforward. It could be a really ugly state of affairs.”
Turkish officers, together with the previous N.B.A. participant Hidayet Turkoglu, who’s now a chief adviser to Erdogan, have dismissed his fears.
“He’s making an attempt to get the limelight with irrational justifications and political remarks,” Turkoglu, who glided by Hedo within the N.B.A., stated on Twitter.
However Kanter informed The Instances final week that demise threats had been “coming loads an increasing number of day by day.”
“I used to be scared,” he added. “I’m not going to lie.”
For the reason that Knicks went abroad, Kanter has posted quite a few pictures of himself assembly with members of Congress. He additionally wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Put up explaining his resolution and his causes for standing towards Erdogan.
“My resolution to not journey to London was tough from a aggressive standpoint however a lot simpler from a security one,” he wrote. “It helps places a highlight on how a dictator is wrecking Turkey — individuals have been killed, 1000’s are unjustly imprisoned, and numerous lives have been ruined. That’s no sport.”