The government of Turkey on Tuesday requested that Interpol issue a Red Notice for a Turkish NBA player Enes Kanter on allegations of membership in a terrorist organization due to his close connections to Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
The request came as part of Turkey’s efforts to secure Kanter’s extradition from the US. Kanter shared the story on Twitter the same day.
The New York Knicks player has been a vocal critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been waging an all-out war against Gülen.
Kanter is accused of membership in an armed terrorist organization, with his social media posts cited as “evidence” in the extradition request that Turkey has prepared, according to Turkish media.
Kanter’s Twitter account is banned in Turkey.
Turkey had revoked Kanter’s passport in 2017 and attempted to have him deported him from Romania on May 20, 2017 during one of his international trips. His passport was briefly seized by Romanian police upon a request from the Turkish government. Once he landed in the US, Kanter revealed that the Turkish government had also tried to catch him in Indonesia.
Despite holding a travel document issued by the US, Kanter chose not to travel to London this week when the Knicks play the Washington Wizards on January 17, fearing Erdogan’s operatives, who have previously abducted critics from abroad.
The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating a controversial coup attempt in 2016, although the movement strongly denies any involvement. (SCF with turkishminute.com)