*Updates at bottom
Enes Kanter’s ongoing feud with his home country of Turkey has taken a turn for the worse, as his father was arrested on Friday by the Turkish government. The 25-year-old big man announced the news himself on Twitter, referring to Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as “the Hitler of our century.”
MY DAD HAS BEEN ARRESTED
by Turkish government and the Hitler of our century
He is potentially to get tortured as thousand others
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) June 2, 2017
This development is the latest in a string of recent events involving Kanter and Turkey, as just last week the country issued a warrant for his arrest. His continued outspokenness in regard to the current political regime has kept him at odds with Erdoğan and his supporters — which, oddly enough — included Kanter’s father, Mehmet. In August of 2016, Kanter’s parents publicly disowned him, saying, “I apologize to the Turkish people and the president for having such a son.”
The root of these issues stem from Kanter’s devout following of Fethullah Gülen, the leader of Turkey’s opposition movement and alleged mastermind of last year’s failed coup attempt. Kanter recently wrote in The Player’s Tribune, “Since the failed coup last year, Erdoğan has been turning the government into a dictatorship. Anyone who goes against him, or says anything against his government, is a target.”
This story will be updated with details on his father’s arrest as they arise.
Update: Enes Kanter released the following statement via his website:
“I woke this morning to the news of my father being arrested by the Turkish government. The police raided our home in Istanbul, something that is happening to many innocent families across Turkey just because they are members of Hizmet, inspired by Scholar Fethullah Gulen. Hizmet today is a transnational social initiative that advocates for the ideals of human rights, equal opportunity, democracy, non-violence and the emphatic acceptance of religious and cultural diversity.
The AKP (Current regime) has suppressed Free Media, blocked opposition parties in countless ways, changed the constitution granting unprecedented powers, and altered democracy so that they may consolidate power.
My father is arrested because of my outspoken criticism of the ruling party. He may get tortured for simply being my family member. There are countless stories that Amnesty International has published about rape, torture, and sodomy in the Turkish prisons following the alleged failed Military Coup attempt on July 15, 2016, that is blamed on innocent individuals of Hizmet. You may clearly see that benefactor of this failed coup was the Turkish Government.
According to Amnesty International & TurkeyPurge.com the AKP Government has detained 104,000 peaceful individuals, which consist of 17,000 women, many of whom are pregnant, or imprisoned with their children. They have shut down nearly 150 media outlets, arrested 234 journalists, which is more than any other country since July 15, 2016. In fact, they have dismissed 4,424 judges & prosecutors further eliminating checks and balances. These acts have assisted in Erdogan’s attempt to consolidate power even further.
For a second please think and imagine, if something like this is happening to an NBA player, what is happening to the people with no voice or podium to speak on? There could be hundreds of thousands of people that are detained, tortured, or murdered that we are not hearing about. Freedom of expression is a basic human right, and I ask the WORLD to join me in seeking justice and equality for all and to reject oppressive regimes and dictatorships.”