OKLAHOMA – The big man of OKC Thunder, Enes Kanter, is back in the United States after his passport was canceled when he was in Romania.
OKC fans got worried after Kanter was reportedly had his passport revocation in Romania and he is uncertain when will it be fixed. But the fans blew a sigh of relief when Kanter came back in New York last Sunday morning.
According to Kanter, the decision of the Turkish government to revoke his passport is due to his political views in the country. Kanter is a well-known critic of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current president of the country. In his announcement from the social media, Kanter attributed Erdogan as a “dictator” and “Hitler of our century”.
Tensions have been escalating between Kanter and his homeland in the past couple of years. This was also intensified last summer when Mehmet, Kanter’s father, announced that their family already disowns him as a son.
Kanter is a supporter of the opposition of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic leader. Following the Kanter family’s announcement last summer of 2016, Enes even suggested that he might change his last name to Gulen.
Kanter is one of the best basketball players in Turkey, but he doesn’t play for the country in the past years because of his political views. However, the head coach of the Turkish national team said that Kanter’s views were not contributory to his decision.
According to the people who are knowledgeable about the events happened, the NBA organization has coordinated with the State Department in order to fly Kanter to London last Saturday. Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe and James Lankford made calls for Kanter’s behalf to make this possible. The citizenship of Kanter is Turkish, but he has a green card for working in the United States.
Meanwhile, Kanter’s remaining charity tour for Light Foundation has been canceled due to the incident.
Kanter will be holding a press conference at the headquarters of National Basketball Players Association on Monday at 9:30 in the morning. He is expected to answer the questions and share the information about what happened in the passport revocation issue.