Enes Kanter to skip New York Knicks’ London journey, citing concern of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan

LOS ANGELES — Enes Kanter is not going to journey to London when the New York Knicks play the Washington Wizards on Jan. 17, saying he fears for his life due to his ongoing conflict with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kanter, a local of Turkey, has been an outspoken critic of the Turkish authorities and Erdogan. A Knicks’ crew official stated Kanter will not journey due to a visa concern, however Kanter stated he didn’t really feel protected making the journey.

“Sadly, I am not going due to that freaking lunatic, the Turkish president,” Kanter stated after the Knicks’ 119-112 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. “There’s an opportunity that I can get killed on the market. In order that’s why I talked to the [Knicks’] entrance workplace. I am not going.

“It is fairly unhappy that simply all these things impacts my profession and basketball, as a result of I wish to be on the market serving to my crew win. However simply due to that one lunatic man, one maniac or dictator, I can not even go on the market and simply do my job. So it is fairly unhappy.”

Requested if he actually believes that he could possibly be killed if he travels to London, Kanter stated, “Oh yeah, simple.”

“They have a number of spies there,” he stated. “I can get killed very simple. That will likely be a really ugly scenario.”

Kanter has stated he believes the Turkish authorities has focused his father up to now due to the participant’s essential stance in opposition to the nation’s authorities. In 2017, Kanter’s Turkish passport was canceled and he was held at a Romanian airport upon touchdown in Bucharest.

In 2016, Kanter spoke out in opposition to Erdogan following a bombing in Ankara, Turkey’s capital metropolis. Kanter, who has acquired demise threats, helps Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Turkish cleric who has been exiled from Turkey and is a bitter rival of Erdogan. The Turkish authorities has accused Gulen of masterminding a failed army coup in 2016. Gulen has denied the allegation.

Based on a report by The New York Occasions, Erdogan has jailed, fired or suspended tens of 1000’s of individuals accused of plotting a failed coup. In December 2017, Turkey’s state-run information company, Anadolu Company, reported that prosecutors had been looking for greater than 4 years in jail for Kanter on fees of insulting Erdogan in a collection of tweets he posted in 2016.

Kanter stated he has prevented worldwide journey for his security, aside from journeys to Canada when the Knicks play the Toronto Raptors.

Stated Kanter: “So I am simply going to remain right here, simply apply right here.”

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