Fear of the reach of Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan has caused Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter to miss games, experience sadistic taunts from fans and sleep with a panic button hooked up to the FBI.
Fear of a prominent dissident like Enes Kanter has caused Erdogan’s government to ban the broadcast of an NBA playoff series involving him, and now the big man is claiming one of the country’s consulates had gone as far as threatening a mosque into canceling his basketball camp.
Kanter tweeted a statement Wednesday saying that the Turkish consulate of New York had sent out “goons” and encouraged threats against the Islamic Center of Long Island to intimidate the mosque into canceling a free basketball camp for children.
Such a disgrace that @TRConsulNY attacked @ICLINY through their bully tactics and caused my camp’s cancellation; they punished over 300+ New Yorker kids who were supposed to have a free Basketball camp. This is how the #TurkishDictator operates. pic.twitter.com/CmHmnqWSgH— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) July 25, 2019
In addition to expressing disgust toward the consulate, Kanter said he was disappointed the mosque caved into the threats rather than take a stand and call the police.
Enes Kanter has criticized Erdogan for years
This isn’t the first time Kanter has called out Turkey and it almost certainly won’t be the last. He has been confined to the United States (no road games against the Toronto Raptors) for months since the Turkish government requested a “red notice” from INTERPOL for his arrest over his support of exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen.
Erdogan has accused Gülen of plotting a failed coup attempt in 2016, and Kanter’s unwavering support of the cleric and constant criticism of the dictator has made him a wanted man in Turkey.
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