Enes Kanter Says His Father Was Arrested in Turkey

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2017

Oklahoma City Thunder's Enes Kanter of Turkey plays during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter said Friday that his father was arrested in his native Turkey.

Kanter sent out the following tweet regarding the situation:

He then released a statement Tuesday, per Erik Horne of The Oklahoman:

It was reported last week by the Daily Sabah (h/t A.J. Perez of USA Today) that a warrant was issued for Kanter's arrest in Turkey for alleged involvement in a terrorist organization opposing Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On May 20, Kanter tweeted a video in which he said he was being held at a Romanian airport due to Turkey canceling his passport because of his political beliefs:

Kanter was eventually released, and upon returning to the United States, he held a press conference.

The Switzerland-born big man told reporters that he wanted to become an American citizen:

"Right now I am country-less. I am open to adoption definitely. I am going to try to become an American citizen. I have a green card. We will see if they can speed up the process a little bit. It would definitely be nice. Right now my next move is becoming an American citizen."

In August 2016, Kanter's father, Mehmet Kanter, disowned his son in the Daily Sabah for supporting Fethullah Gulen, per BBC.

Gulen is accused of leading a failed coup against Erdogan, though he has denied involvement.

The 25-year-old Kanter is a six-year NBA veteran who has spent time with the Utah Jazz and Thunder.

In 2016-17, he averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as OKC's primary contributor off the bench.