Even when Enes Kanter is trying to do something charitable, he can’t catch a break.
This weekend, Kanter was scheduled to host a free basketball camp for over 300 kids at the Islamic Center of Long Island; however, he was forced to cancel it after the mosque received threats from the Turkish Consulate in New York.
For the past several years, Kanter has been a vocal critic of Turkish president Reccip Tayyip Erdogan, who wants him dead or imprisoned because he supports Fethullah Gulen, a cleric blamed for a failed coup back in 2016. Last year, a Turkish court indicted Kanter on terrorism charges and Erdogan had Interpol put him on “red notice,” which prohibits him from traveling safely outside of the United States. He regularly receives death threats, to the point that the FBI installed a panic button next to his bed earlier this year.
On Twitter, Kanter criticizing the mosque for not calling the police on the people who left the threats and instead “bowing down before this dictator and his regime”:
Such a disgrace that @TRConsulNY attacked @ICLINY through their bully tactics and caused my camp’s cancellation; they punished over 300+ New Yorker kids who were supposed to have a free Basketball camp. This is how the #TurkishDictator operates. pic.twitter.com/CmHmnqWSgH
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) July 25, 2019
This week, Kanter has been in Washington D.C., meeting with members of Congress to discuss human rights, free speech, and his ability to travel outside of the U.S. in the upcoming NBA season. Yesterday, he met with New York Rep. Kathleen Rice, who vowed to help him find an alternative location for the camp:
This is shameful. My office is working with @EnesKanter to find an alternative location nearby that can host his camp.
These kids deserve this opportunity.
— Kathleen Rice (@RepKathleenRice) July 25, 2019