The Turkish government’s ongoing antagonization of Thunder big man Enes Kanter has apparently continued this morning, as Kanter declared that his father was arrested by the state. Last week, the government reportedly issued an arrest warrant for Kanter, and two weeks ago he was detained in Romania after the government revoked his passport as he was flying in from Indonesia. He claims that Turkish police were sent after him in Indonesia as well.
The animus between Kanter and the regime of Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (the aforementioned “Hitler of our century”) goes back to Kanter’s support of Fethullah Gülen, an imam, political figure, and former Erdoğan ally now living in exile in the United States. Kanter’s Gulenism was enough to get his family to formally disown him and for him to declare himself “Enes Gülen.”
Kanter’s father is supposedly in full support of the regime who just arrested him, telling the Turkish media last year, “I apologize to the Turkish people and the president for having such a son.” Now, he might have had to do so in order to continue living in the country, and their son’s prominent dissent puts them in an impossible spot. Regardless, Kanter is in an incredibly tough situation as well, abandoned by his family and unwelcome in his home country. He said he hopes to become an American citizen soon, and he’s lived in the U.S. since 2011.