Enes Kanter's Father Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison by Turkish Government

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 18, 2018

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Dr. Mehmet Kanter, the father of New York Knicks center Enes Kanter, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Turkish government.

In a statement to B/R, the younger Kanter said he believes this is the government's way of attacking him for being critical of the country's current leadership:

Yaron Weitzman @YaronWeitzman

Some #Knicks news: The Turkish government has sentenced Enes Kanter's father to 15 years in prison. Enes learned of the news this morning. More below, including a statement from Enes https://t.co/e9ofVULk09

Kanter's father was previously imprisoned by the Turkish government in 2017 for five days while being investigated for an alleged connection to Fethullah Gulen, who was blamed for a military coup that failed in 2016. 

Enes was detained at an airport in Romania in May 2017 when the Turkish government canceled his documents needed for traveling. 

"If they sent me back to Turkey, probably you guys wouldn't hear a word from me the second day," Kanter told reporters about being detained. "The reason behind it was, whoever is going to try to go against the president, he's going to try to shut him down."

Last December, prosecutors in Turkey prepared an indictment that seeks a four-year prison sentence for the younger Kanter if he returns to the country for speaking out against President Recep Erdogan.