Turkish Prosecutors Seek 4-Year Enes Kanter Prison Term for Insulting President

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 18: Enes Kanter #00 of the New York Knicks handles the ball against the Charlotte Hornets on December 18, 2017 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kent Smith/Getty Images

Prosecutors in Turkey are seeking a four-year prison sentence for New York Knicks big man Enes Kanter due to his criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), Kanter would be tried in absentia regarding tweets he posted about Erdogan in May and June 2016.

Kanter later told Ian Begley of ESPN he isn't worried about the sentence, adding: "That's it? For all of the trash I've been talking?"

In May, Kanter was detained at a Romanian airport and told that his Turkish passport was canceled.

Kanter, who is a supporter of Erdogan opponent Fethullah Gulen, said the detainment and passport cancellation had to do with his political views.

Turkish leaders believe Gulen was behind a failed 2016 military coup.

In June, Kanter said his father, Mehmet, was arrested by Turkish authorities due to the Knicks center's views.

Following his detainment in Romania, Kanter called himself "country-less" and said he wanted to become an American citizen, per ESPN.

After stints with the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder, Kanter was traded from OKC to the New York Knicks during the offseason as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal.

In 27 games for the surprising Knicks, Kanter is averaging 13.2 points and a career-high 9.8 rebounds per contest.