According to Newsday's Steve Popper, veteran center Enes Kanter will not be making the trip with his teammates to London thanks to his ongoing criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Although a member of the Knicks said the Turkish athlete would not travel due to "a visa issue", Kanter told the media there is a possibility he could get killed if he joins his team on their United Kingdom trip because Turkey has "a lot of spies there". It's pretty sad because it affects my career, my basketball. The Knicks and Wizards meet in London on January 17th, without Kanter in the mix. In 2016, Kanter voiced his dissent after a bombing in Ankara, the Turkish capital.
While speaking to reporters, Kanter said he would stay in ny and practice while his team traveled. Kanter, who was born in Switzerland to Turkish parents and moved to the U.S.in 2009, said he would not travel to London with the team later this month as he fears for his life. "They've got a lot of spies there", he explained.
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Instead, he will stay in NY and practice on his own.
"There is a chance I could get killed out there", Kanter, a longtime critic of Erdogan, told reporters.
His Turkish passport was revoked in 2017, and an worldwide warrant for his arrest was issued, with Turkish prosecutors asking for Kanter to be jailed for up to four years. "It would be a very ugly situation". "I can get killed pretty easy". In the same year, Erdogan and his government accused Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating a failed coup, an allegation he subsequently denied. Then, early this year, Kanter's father was arrested by the Turkish government for reportedly being a member of a terror group, despite telling Turkish media he and the family had disowned their son. However, they'll be without their leading rebounder and second leading scorer because of his long-running feud against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the political dictator in his home country.