Enes Kanter says father arrested in Turkey
Details of the arrest are currently unknown.
Enes Kanter is an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a known supporter of Fethullah Gulen, a spiritual leader who has lived in exile in Pennsylvania for the past 15 years. The Turkish government blamed Gulen for an attempted military coup last summer, though Gulen denies involvement.
Last summer, Mehmet Kanter told the Daily Sabah, a pro-government newspaper in Turkey, that his family had disowned Enes Kanter because of his political views.
“I apologize to the Turkish people and the president for having such a son,” Mehmet Kanter wrote.
Enes Kanter said recently that he has not spoken with his father in almost two years.
Last week, the Turkish government issued an arrest warrant for Kanter, claiming he was part of a terrorist group. He was briefly detained by airport officials in Romania on May 20 after having his passport revoked by the Turkish government. Kanter was able to return to the United States on May 22 with a green card. But with a warrant out for his arrest, he will likely be unable to travel internationally.
During interviews after returning to the U.S., Kanter said his father, a former college professor, had been spit on at the grocery store because of his son.
“Right now, even if I try to communicate with my parents, my mom or dad or brother or sister, [the government] will probably listen to their phones and as soon as they are in contact with me, they will put them in a jail — and the jails are not fun,” Kanter said at a news conference. “Right now, my family can’t even go out to eat. My brother told me that my dad went to the supermarket and they spit on his face.”