NBA star Enes Kanter faces 4 years in jail for ‘insulting’ advisor of Turkey’s Erdoğan

A file of investigation prepared by the İstanbul police’s cyber-crimes department seeks up to 4 years in prison for the New York Knicks center Enes Kanter for allegedly insulting Hidayet Türkoğlu, former basketball player and a chief advisor of Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Pro-government Sabah newspaper reported on Wednesday that the indictment accuses Kanter of insulting Türkoğlu several times via social media. The NBAer faces between 1 to 4 years in prison on this charge alone while the indictment seeks an increase in the punishment by half, if convicted, claiming that the offence was committed publicly.

Türkoğlu, a former NBA player, is now working as an advisor to Erdoğan and as the president of the Turkish Basketball Federation.

This is not the first time Kanter got in trouble with authorities in his hometown. He was earlier accused of insulting Erdoğan in tweets posted in 2016.

Kanter also fell victim to the Turkish government’s worldwide net against Gülen followers after he pledged support to the movement. Last year, his passport was briefly seized by Romanian police upon a request from the Turkish government. Once he landed in the US, Kanter revealed that Turkish government had tried to catch him also in Indonesia.

Turkish government blames the Gülen movement for the failed coup attempt of 2016 while the latter strongly denies any involvement. Currently, Kanter has an outstanding arrest warrant and his Twitter account is banned in Turkey. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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