According to a report from AFP, an arrest warrant was issued in Turkey for Kanter, who the country’s government says is in a “terror group.”
Kanter, 25, a centre for Oklahoma City Thunder, previously backed Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen in Twitter postings after an attempted putsch last July aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey accuses US-based Gulen of ordering the failed coup and refers to the movement as the “Fethullah Terrorist Organisation” (FETO). Gulen denies the claims.
The arrest warrant refers to Kanter’s alleged use of an encrypted messaging application called Bylock, Sabah said, which Turkey claims was especially created for Gulen supporters.
It also referred to Kanter’s “praise for a terror organisation” in messages via his social media accounts, the daily reported.
Kanter likely isn’t a terrorist as much as he is a basketball player who’s outspoken against the president of Turkey. Kanter has rallied against the brutal regime of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The politician is a controversial figure in Turkey, and recently his security forces attacked people during a protest in Washington.
Kanter’s outspoken statements about Erdogan have gotten him death threats in the past, and last weekend he was detained in Romania when the Turkish government withdrew his passport. Kanter was later released and few to London, then back to the United States.
For his part, it doesn’t seem like Kanter is backing down. He tweeted this shortly after the report of his arrest warrant hit news wires.
He’s also written about the incident in The Players’ Tribune, so it seems like he’s going to play this string out no matter where it goes.