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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.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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.

Go deeper

Erdoğan walks back threat to expel 10 Western diplomats

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses the UN. Photo: Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday walked back threats to expel 10 Western ambassadors from the country, according to the New York Times.

Driving the news: Last Saturday, Erdoğan threatened to declare 10 ambassadors persona non grata after they called for the release of jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala.

1 hour ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. chargés d'affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten the embassy's ability to assist Americans.

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