Enes Kanter Released After Being Detained in Romania

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 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 was released Saturday after being held at a Romanian airport because of a canceled Turkish passport.

According to Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times, Romanian border police spokesman Fabian Badila said Kanter was allowed to leave on a flight to London:

"Today at around 1 p.m. local time, an individual arrived from Frankfurt. My colleagues established that his travel documents weren't valid, that they had been canceled by his home country, so he wasn't allowed to enter the country. At around 5 p.m., he left the airport on a flight to London. While he was at the airport, he wasn't detained or locked up; he was allowed to wander around, but he couldn't enter the country."

Royce Young of ESPN reported the NBA worked with the State Department to help get Kanter to London.

Kanter said he's planning a press conference in New York City on Sunday to give more details regarding being detained:

Kanter tweeted a video earlier in the day saying his passport had been canceled because of his political views:

Per ESPN.com, Kanter is an "outspoken critic " of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kanter is a supporter of Fethullah Gulen, who allegedly led a failed coup against Erdogan last year.

According to Hoffman, Kanter is in the middle of a tour for the Enes Kanter Light Foundation.

The 25-year-old was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz before getting traded to OKC in February 2015

His production has improved with the Thunder, and he is coming off a season that saw him average 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

Kanter has one year remaining on his contract before he is eligible to opt out and become a free agent in 2018.

 

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