Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter has responded to death threats he has received in the wake of speaking out about the Armenian genocide that took place in the early 20th century.
"I AM NOT SCARED," Kanter wrote at the end of a message on Twitter:
Enes Kanter @EnesKanter
The amount of death threats I just got in the last 2 hours is crazy for telling the truth.<br>I promised myself many years ago to stand up for human rights for all people. <br><br>I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. <br>I'm for FREEDOM, no matter who it is for or against.<br><br>I AM NOT SCARED <a href="https://t.co/oSx0HPnjQK">https://t.co/oSx0HPnjQK</a>
Earlier in the day, Kanter posted a message calling for his home country of Turkey to "face its past and present crimes."
It was part of a larger post discussing what Kanter called his "ignorance" regarding the Armenian genocide, which occurred between 1915-17 and resulted in the deaths of approximately 1.5 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. Historians widely consider those events to constitute the first genocide of the 20th century.
According to the Associated Press, "Turkey denies the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest." Earlier this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke out against United States President Joe Biden's announcement in April that the massacre of the Armenians should be considered genocide.
The Celtics big man has taken up permanent residency in the United States. The Turkish government requested an INTERPOL "Red Notice" for him in 2019, akin to an arrest warrant, for Kanter's alleged ties to Turkish scholar Fethullah Gulen.
Dr. Mehmet Kanter, Enes' father, spent three years in a Turkish prison for a similar allegation.
Kanter has said he plans to become a United States citizen at some point this year.