Enes Kanter’s father, Dr. Mehmet Kanter, was indicted by a Turkish court on Monday on charges of “membership in a terrorist group” according to the country’s official news agency, Anadolu Agency.
The indictment reportedly comes after an investigation into Dr. Kanter and he could face a prison term of five to 10 years at trial. Anadolu said that the indictment alleges that Dr. Kanter contacted 120 suspects with links to Cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the government accused of masterminding an attempted military coup in 2016. There is no timetable on when the trial would begin.
According to ESPN, Kanter’s manager said the player’s father is not in Istanbul at the moment, but that he could be detained when he returns to the country. Kanter has been a vocal critic of current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and has said previously that he believes the government targeted his father because of that. Kanter had an arrest warrant issued in Turkey last May and had his passport revoked by the government just prior to that.
In a statement made to ESPN, Kanter said the following:
“No matter what happens, 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 the voice of all those innocent people.”
Kanter played in 71 games for the Knicks this past season averaging 14 points and 11 rebounds in 25 minutes per game.