Aug 5, 2021 - Sports

NBA player Enes Kanter won't stop denouncing Turkey despite arrest warrants

JaVale McGee #34 of the Denver Nuggets is defended by Enes Kanter #11 of the Portland Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter during Round 1, Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on May 29

Enes Kanter (C), playing for the Portland Trail Blazers against the Denver Nuggets in in Portland, Oregon, in May. Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

NBA player Enes Kanter said Thursday he would continue to denounce President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over human rights abuse reports in Turkey despite discovering that the Turkish government had issued nine warrants for his arrest.

Driving the news: Kanter is wanted in Turkey for defamation and terrorism offenses, according to documents dated July 12 and obtained by monitoring group, the Nordic Monitor.

What he's saying: ""Unbelievable!" tweeted the 29-year-old former Portland Trail Blazers center, who's just signed to the Boston Celtics.

  • "#DictatorErdogan regime issued 9 arrest warrants for me. The reason behind it is me standing up for Human Rights, Freedom and Political Prisoners who are getting tortured.
  • "Hey @RTErdogan I don't care if it's 9 or 9000, I'm NOT giving up," he added, alerting the president's official Twitter account.

The big picture: Turkish prosecutors have for the past several years sought to have Kanter extradited and arrested over his ties to the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom they accuse of being behind a failed 2016 coup.

  • The basketballer's father, Mehmet Kanter, was last year "acquitted of charges that he was a member of a terrorist group seven years after his arrest in Turkey," Reuters notes.
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