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Enes Kanter sleeps with a panic button next to his bed

(Photo via Bruce Ely / Trail Blazers)

(Photo via Bruce Ely / Trail Blazers)

Today is Enes Kanter’s 27th birthday, but because of the ongoing threats from Turkish president Reccip Tayyip Erdogan, the former Cat and current Portland Trail Blazer has to sleep with a panic button next to his bed.

By now, you should be familiar with Kanter’s contentious relationship with 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. Add in death threats that come in regularly and life is stressful, to say the least. Kanter told ESPN the Magazine’s Tim Keown that after hearing his story during a meeting in February, the FBI gave him a panic button.

And he told them, as an addendum to a question that wasn’t asked, that he has no plans to stop his outspoken defiance against the leader of his home country.

“I have a voice,” he says, “and I’m trying to use it to be the voice for all the innocent people who don’t have one.”

He says the agents listened and wrote down Kanter’s words and asked a few more questions. Not once did they ask if he was taking the threats seriously, and before they left, they installed a device next to his bed. “If you’re uncomfortable with anything, just push that button,” they told him. “If you hear something you don’t like or have a reason to believe there’s a threat, push the button and someone will be here within minutes.”

On top of all this, the Trail Blazers are playing Golden State the Western Conference finals and Kanter’s fasting for Ramadan, which means no food or drink — even water — from sunrise to sunset.

Even if the Trail Blazers get swept tonight, I hope Enes eats all of the cake once the sun goes down. He deserves it.



Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

6 Comments for Enes Kanter sleeps with a panic button next to his bed

  1. ibescootch
    1:27 pm May 20, 2019 Permalink

    I can’t imagine being someone sent to kill Enes Kanter, and you walk into his bedroom in the middle of the night, and he wakes up. Suddenly, a 7′ tall, 250 lb dude made of solid muscle, who makes a living by throwing his body around against some of the worlds largest people is looming over you.

    I would be hitting that panic button myself.

    • Irwin R. Fletcher
      1:54 pm May 20, 2019 Permalink

      Whomever that theoretical person may be, they will be well aware of his imposing physical stature. I’m guessing they try would do their work from a safe distance

    • Irwin R. Fletcher
      1:55 pm May 20, 2019 Permalink

      Scary situation. Glad he’s got xuch protection available to him.

    • J-Dub421
      2:13 pm May 20, 2019 Permalink

      Enes isn’t bullet-proof, knife-proof, or poison-proof though. Crappy dictators like Erdogan play dirty.

  2. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy
    3:36 pm May 20, 2019 Permalink

    “It’s a great honor and privilege — because he’s become a friend of mine — to introduce President Erdogan of Turkey,” Trump told reporters. “He’s running a very difficult part of the world. He’s involved very, very strongly and, frankly, he’s getting very high marks.”

  3. krisken63
    6:19 pm May 20, 2019 Permalink