Knicks’ Enes Kanter Ditches London Trip over Erdogan 'Spy' Allegations

Turkish NBA star won’t join team on London trip because of ‘lunatic’ Erdogan

Enes Kanter told the media there is a possibility he could get killed if he joins his team on their United Kingdom trip

"I want to be out there helping my team".

"That's why I talked to the front office". His Turkish passport was revoked in 2017, and an worldwide warrant for his arrest was issued by Turkey. That means I am now stateless and pretty much can't leave the United States. I'm not going. I'm going to stay here and practice.

"But because of that one lunatic guy, one maniac, one dictator, I can not go out there and just do my job". They got a lot of spies there.

However, Mr Kanter said: It's not a visa issue.

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Enes Kanter, a native of Turkey who plays professional basketball for the New York Knicks, has announced that he will not travel to London this month because he fears the Turkish government.

Two summers ago the Turkish government revoked Kanter's passport while he was overseas, forcing American diplomats (with some help from the NBA) to step in and prevent him from being sent back to his native country and arrested. So it's pretty sad. That embrace of Gulen has caused Kanter's family, who live in Turkey, to disown the center, though that didn't stop Kanter's father from being arrested and reportedly sentenced to 15 years in prison for "being a member of a terrorist organization".

Mike Bass, a spokesman for the NBA, told the BBC: "The NBA has played hundreds of games outside of the U.S. and this is a very unique and unprecedented situation".

Turkish president Erdogan - whose government is known for human rights abuses - blames Gulen for a failed 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

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"Besides Canada, I can not fly anywhere else", he said.

The Turkish government has also canceled Kanter's passport, which caused him to be detained in a Romanian airport, and attempted to pressure Indonesia to use its military and secret service to hunt down the 26-year-old while he was traveling in the country for his foundation. "There is the possibility that I'll be killed".

But this past weekend Kanter alerted fans that it wasn't all good when he revealed that he wouldn't travel with the Knicks to play in London against the Wizards on January 17th due to safety concerns.

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