Enes Kanter refuses to step down from battle with Turkish president

Mrs. Tyler Thompsonabout 4 years


By now, you’re probably familiar with Enes Kanter’s battle with the Turkish government. For years, Kanter has been a supporter of U.S. based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, an outspoken critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Last month, Kanter was detained in a Romanian airport because the Turkish government claims Gülen’s movement is a terror organization. Upon his return to the US, Kanter continued to denounce Erdogan, whom he refers to as the “Hitler of our century.” A few weeks later, Kanter’s father — who denounced his son last year for his beliefs — was detained by security forces in Istanbul and jailed for almost a week, a move which Kanter told VICE Sports was directed at him.

It was kind of like a warning for me: if you don’t stop talking, we’ll put your dad in jail and your mom will be next. They think I’m going to stop talking but no. When they do it, I want to talk more, to tell all these people, like, this is what’s really going on.”

Kanter admitted that he’s afraid the Turkish government won’t leave his family alone, but still refuses to be silenced.

“I understand my family is of course important. I love my family, I love my country, but I have to do this for all of the innocent people.”

Check out his full interview with VICE Sports below.

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