Former Kentucky center Enes Kanter has always been an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He onced called him the Hitler of this century.
That criticism only grew larger when he was detained in Romania in May of 2017 after his passport was “canceled” by the Turkish embassy.
Just a week later, Kanter was the subject of an arrest warrant issued by Turkey.
Though Kanter is in the United States and wouldn’t dare return home, his family is in trouble back home. They had to disavow their son and his beliefs to try and get on Erdogan’s good side, and even that wasn’t enough. Now, the Turkish dictator has sentenced Kanter’s father, Mehmet, to 15 years in prison for “membership in a terror group.”
The New York Knicks center posted the following video on Twitter in response to the sentencing:
“Keep my family, innocent people, in your prayers,” he said.
I will continue to keep fighting for Human Rights and Freedom of Speech
Justice and Democracy above all.I will stand for what I believe in.All I’m doing is trying to be voice of innocent people
Keep my family,innocent people in your prayers ?#DictatorErdogan ??@RT_Erdogan pic.twitter.com/i7kK3mwKND
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) June 18, 2018
Kanter has declared himself “country-less,” hoping to eventually become a citizen of the United States.
“Right now I am country-less,” Kanter said, according to ESPN.com. “I am open to adoption definitely. I am going to try to become an American citizen. I have a green card. We will see if they can speed up the process a little bit. It would definitely be nice. Right now my next move is becoming an American citizen.”
Unfortunately for Kanter, there isn’t much he can do when it comes to his father. If he tries to help, the Turkish government will likely arrest and torture the former Wildcat.
Sad, sad news.