Turkey Seeking Four-Year Prison Sentence For Enes Kanter Over President Insults

Enes Kanter has built a reputation on not backing down from anyone. But could that reputation land him in jail?

Prosecutors in Turkey are seeking “more than four years in prison” for Kanter on charges that the New York Knicks center insulted Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the country’s state-run news agency.

Kanter, who grew up in Turkey but moved to the United States in 2009, has been an outspoken critic of Erdogan, calling the president the “Hitler of our century” in a video he posted to Twitter in May. He also is a vocal supporter of Fethullah Gülen, an exiled Turkish political figure who was accused of organizing a failed military coup to overthrow Erdogan in 2016.

Turkey has cracked down on Kanter in the past, cancelling his passport and detaining him at a Romanian airport back in May and issuing a warrant for his arrest days later. Kanter was allowed to return to the U.S. after American officials intervened.

Turkish prosecutors already have prepared an indictment against Kanter as they seek to imprison him, according to the Turkish news agency, Anadolu Agency. Kanter, of course, is in the midst of his NBA season with the Knicks and would be tried in absentia if the case went to trial.

Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images

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