Enes Kanter Won't Travel With Knicks to London Fearing for His Life

Rex Christensen
January 9, 2019

"But just because of that one lunatic guy, one maniac or dictator, I can't even go out there and just do my job".

The Turkish government issued an arrest warrant for Kanter after he spoke out against Erdogan, according to Yahoo Sports. I could get killed very easy.

"It's pretty sad that just all this stuff affects my career in basketball, because I want to be out there helping my team win", the 26-year-old player added.

Kanter has been vocal in his opposition of Erdogan, who took on the presidency in 2014.

"They've got a lot of spies there", Kanter said. This year, British fans will get to see the New York Knicks play against the Washington Wizards.

Not long after this, Knicks officials tried to put a better spin on this saying it was a "visa issue".

Ener Kanter will not join the team on their upcoming trip to London because of the ongoing tension between the Knicks center and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kanter told reporters after New York's 119-112 win over the Lakers on Friday. So it's pretty sad.

Oklahoma City Thunder's Enes Kanter of Turkey plays during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday
Player Detained in Europe After Turkish Authorities Revoke Passport

President Erdogan has accused Fethullah Gülen, a US-based Turkish cleric, of masterminding a failed 2016 military coup against him.

Mike Bass, a spokesman for the NBA, told the BBC: "The NBA has played hundreds of games outside of the U.S. and this is a very unique and unprecedented situation". Mehmet was reportedly charged by the Turkish government with "membership in a terror group", last summer.

The basketball star's father, former professor Mehmet Kanter, was indicted in Turkey a year ago and charged with "membership in a terror group", AP reported, although he had publicly disavowed his son's beliefs.

"But anywhere outside America would be very unsafe", he said.

In May 2017, Kanter was detained in Romania after the Turkish embassy canceled his passport. "I think I could get killed there easy".

Kanter said late Friday night that the team will travel without him to the United Kingdom, as he'll stay behind and practice while the Knicks play the Wizards on January 17 in London.

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