NBA player Enes Kanter, a center for the New York Knicks, faces jail time in his native Turkey after the government accused him of insulting the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
A report from the Associated Press suggests the Turkish government is pushing for at least a four-year sentence over controversial remarks Kanter made in August of last year. The former Utah Jazz and Oklahoma Thunders big man caused a twitter storm when he supported exiled Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen.
The cleric was blamed by Turkish authorities for spearheading a failed coup d-etat in the summer of 2016. Since offering his support, Enes Kanter has had a rocky relationship with his country. In May he was detained in Romania because his Turkish passport was revoked. He has been off the Turkish national team since before Eurobasket 2015 because of his support of Gulen.
It seems the Turkish government sees the “humiliating” tweets about the president are a step too far and are seeking a prison term. Kanter appears to be at ease with the situation and tweeted in response (in Turkish) “Add another four years for me, master.”
Kanter is a green card holder in the United States and has previously talked about becoming a U.S. citizen.