OKLAHOMA CITY – He’s a star on the basketball court who’s not afraid to speak his mind.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Enes Kanter is in hot water with the Turkish government over his recent words and social media posts about Turkey’s leader.
“He’s a bad, bad, man. He’s a dictator and he’s the Hitler of our century,” said Enes Kanter from an airport while he was detained in Romania last week. The Turkish government revoked his passport.
But now, a foreign arrest warrant has been issued for Kanter for allegedly associating with terrorism.
“I’m aware that the Turkish government, under President Erdogan, is unhappy with some of the political stances that Enes Kanter has taken, so that’s what’s behind that arrest warrant,” said Professor Bob Carpenter with Oklahoma Christian College. Carpenter has extensive knowledge of Turkish policy and says Kanter supports a movement that opposes Turkey’s current leader.
“That’s the organization that the Turkish Government is accusing of being a terrorist organization,” said Carpenter.
Fans also chimed in.
“It’s downright degrading,” said Floyd Blackbear. “I mean, come on. A professional basketball player? Being called a terrorist? Especially here in the state of Oklahoma.”
“I think it’s very unfair,” said Janet McCauley. “ But I think it’s a very good opportunity for him to become a U.S. citizen, Okie for sure.”
But how likely is it that Kanter could be arrested? Especially since an opposing coup leader from Turkey is already in the United States.
“If someone who has been accused by the Turkish Government of leading a coup is still here, I’d say that Enes Kanter is on safe ground.” said Carpenter.
We reached out to the Thunder but didn’t receive a comment on the issue.