Thunder’s Enes Kanter Says Turkish Government Has Arrested His Father

OKLAHOMA CITY (CBSNewYork/AP) — A week after Turkey issued an arrest warrant for Enes Kanter, the Oklahoma City Thunder center tweeted Friday that his father has been arrested by the Turkish government.

Last month, Kanter was detained at an airport in Romania, with border police there saying they did so because Turkish authorities canceled his passport. Kanter eventually was allowed to leave for London and then New York, after he said officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and others intervened on his behalf.

Last week, Turkey accused Kanter, 25, of being a member of a terrorist organization.

Kanter held a news conference in New York last month and said he has received death threats for criticizing the government in his native Turkey.

Kanter has long been a critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he has likened to Adolf Hitler on multiple occasions. Kanter contends, among other things, that a failed coup attempt last year was actually staged by the Erdogan-led government.

“I call it the fake coup attempt,” Kanter said. “Last year, they did a fake coup attempt themselves, so they can control everything. So right now, the Erdogan government is controlling the army, controlling the police, controlling judges, controlling journalists, everything.”

Kanter makes no secret of his support of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who opposes Erdogan. Kanter said that when he was detained in Romania, he feared he would be sent back to Turkey.

“If they sent me back to Turkey, probably you guys wouldn’t hear a word from me the second day,” Kanter said.

With no passport, Kanter said he may have to pursue citizenship in the United States.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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