The Turkish government issued an arrest warrant for Enes Kanter on Friday, according to Daily Sabah, a pro-government newspaper in Turkey.
The Oklahoma City Thunder center has been labeled a “fugitive” and a member of a “terror group” planning to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Via Agence France-Presse:
“A judge issued the arrest warrant after an Istanbul prosecutor opened an investigation into Kanter’s alleged “membership of an armed terrorist (organization),” Sabah daily reported. (…)
“The arrest warrant refers to Kanter’s alleged use of an encrypted messaging application called Bylock, Sabah said, which Turkey claims was especially created for (Fethullah) Gulen supporters. It also referred to Kanter’s “praise for a terror (organization)” in messages via his social media accounts, the daily reported.”
Kanter had his passport canceled on May 20, while he was traveling through Europe with his foundation, and was detained in Romania. He made it back to the United States, via London, using his green card.
During his detainment, Kanter referred to Erdogan as the “Hitler of our century” in a video that he posted.
The 25-year-old center has been an outspoken critic of the Turkish president, and a vocal supporter of Gulen and the “Gulen Movement.” Gulen, who currently lives in exile in Pennsylvania, was blamed for a 2016 military coup attempt on Erdogan, although he has denied any involvement.
Kanter appeared to mock the warrant for his arrest on Twitter.
Kanter told reporters he would like to become an American citizen.
“Right now I am country-less,” Kanter said, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I am open to adoption definitely. I am going to try to become an American citizen.”
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images