Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter has been issued an arrest warrant via the Turkish Government for being in a ‘terrorist organization’ according to pro-government newspaper, The Daily Sabah. The government is accusing Kanter of using an encrypted messaging application called Bylock, Sabah said, which Turkey claims was “especially created for Fethullah Gulen supporters.”
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) May 26, 2017
Gulen, who has been exiled from Turkey for 15 years and is now living in Pennsylvania, is a muslim spiritual leader who denies his involvement with a military coup – dubbed the “Gulen Movement” – that took place in 2016. These actions lead to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to announce that anyone involved with the movement or Gulen himself to be a terrorist.
The warrant comes amidst a whirl-wind couple of weeks for the Thunder veteran, who last week was held up at an airport in Romania after the Turkish Government voided his passport. Kanter was able to return to the United States after using his Green Card in London. When speaking on the incident Kanter referred to Erdogn to the “Hitler of our Century”.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 22, 2017
This certainly isn’t the first time that Kanter has been outspoken about his political views. He claims to routinely get death threats. This is also not the first time the 25-year-old center has been targeted by a government following the incident where he claims that his manager woke him up in the middle of the night and told him the Indonesian secret service and army were looking for him because he is a ‘dangerous man’. The Sweden-born player said he was let off by the Turkish National Basketball Team in 2015 for the EuroBasket, a claim that has been confirmed then retracted from National Coach, Ergin Ataman.
The most beautiful country in the world.
The United States Of America 🇺🇸 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FBPurW17AT
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 21, 2017
As far as the next step, Kanter, told reporters he plans to become a U.S Citizen. The following is from Kanter at the National Basketball Players Association headquarters in Manhattan:
“Right now I am country-less,” Kanter said. “I am open to adoption definitely. I am going to try to become an American citizen.”