ANKARA, Turkey – Media reports say the father of NBA basketball player Enes Kanter has been released from police custody in Turkey, where he was detained as part of an investigation into alleged links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
The private Dogan news agency said university professor Mehmet Kanter was released Wednesday after five days in custody on condition that he regularly report to a police station.
Enes Kanter, the Oklahoma City Thunder player, is a vocal supporter of Gulen, who the Turkish government blames for a failed military coup last summer. Mehmet Kanter had disowned his son for his open support of Gulen.
After his father was arrested, Kanter released a statement saying:
“I woke this morning to the news of my father being arrested by the Turkish government. The police raided our home in Istanbul, something that is happening to many innocent families across Turkey just because they are members of Hizmet, inspired by Scholar Fethullah Gulen. Hizmet today is a transnational social initiative that advocates for the ideals of human rights, equal opportunity, democracy, non-violence and the emphatic acceptance of religious and cultural diversity.
The AKP (Current regime) has suppressed Free media, blocked opposition parties in countless ways, changed the constitution granting unprecedented powers, and altered democracy so that they may consolidate power.
My father is arrested because of my outspoken criticism of the ruling party. He may get tortured for simply being my family member. There are countless stories that Amnesty International has published about rape, torture, and sodomy in the Turkish prisons following the alleged failed Military Coup attempt on July 15, 2016, that is blamed on innocent individuals of Hizmet. You may clearly see that benefactor of this failed coup was the Turkish Government.
According to Amnesty International & TurkeyPurge.com the AKP Government has detained 104,000 peaceful individuals, which consist of 17,000 women, many of whom are pregnant, or imprisoned with their children. They have shut down nearly 150 media outlets, arrested 234 journalists, which is more than any other country since July 15, 2016. In fact, they have dismissed 4,424 judges & prosecutors further eliminating checks and balances. These acts have assisted in Erdogan’s attempt to consolidate power even further.
For a second please think and imagine, if something like this is happening to an NBA player, what is happening to the people with no voice or podium to speak on? There could be hundreds of thousands of people that are detained, tortured, or murdered that we are not hearing about. Freedom of expression is a basic human right, and I would ask the WORLD to join me in seeking justice and equality for all and to reject oppressive regimes and dictatorships.”
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) June 6, 2017
Kanter was detained in Romania on May 20 because his Turkish passport was cancelled.
He said he was able to return to the United States after American officials intervened.