During a press conference this morning and an appearance on Outside The Lines, Thunder center Enes Kanter provided more details about his brief detainment in Romania yesterday.
Kanter was held at the airport in Romania by police officers after his passport was canceled by the Turkish government. In a video posted to his Twitter feed yesterday, Kanter explained that his passport had been canceled because he has been an outspoken critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Kanter was eventually allowed to fly to London, and has since returned to the United States.
Today, he revealed that he only went to Romania in the first place because he was fleeing Indonesian police officers that had been sent after him by the Turkish government while he was hosting a basketball clinic in Jakarta. From ESPN:
The Oklahoma City center was traveling internationally for his Enes Kanter Light Foundation and was in Indonesia, where he said his manager was approached by Indonesian “secret service and the army” looking for Kanter. Kanter said Indonesian authorities told his manager that the Turkish government had called and informed them that Kanter “is a dangerous man and we need to talk to him.”
Kanter, who had been broadcasting his whereabouts on social media promoting his charity work with his foundation, said he and his manager fled to Singapore on the first flight out.
“We kind of escaped the country at 5:30 a.m. and we went to Singapore and then we went to Romania, and that is where the madness started,” Kanter said.
Kanter also spoke about the difficulties his family members back in Turkey have faced ever since he started speaking out against Erdogan:
Kanter says that he is now a man without a country, and hopes to become a United States citizen as soon as possible.