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Wed May 15, 2019, 09:32 AM

US senator asks Canada to protect Erdoğan critic Kanter during NBA finals

Source: The Guardian

US senator asks Canada to protect Erdoğan critic Kanter during NBA finals

● Trail Blazers player is an opponent of Turkish president
● Blazers could travel to play Toronto Raptors in finals

Guardian sport
Tue 14 May 2019 21.28 BST Last modified on Tue 14 May 2019 21.36 BST

The NBA playoffs have been swept up in diplomatic drama, with US senator Ron Wyden expressing concern for the safety of Portland Trail Blazers player Enes Kanter if his team play the Toronto Raptors in the NBA finals.

Kanter is a fierce critic of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling him the “Hitler of our Century”. The Turkish authorities in turn have accused Kanter of having links with an armed group behind a failed coup in the country in 2016. Last year, Kanter missed a trip to London with his then team the New York Knicks, saying he feared he could be “killed by Turkish spies”.

Portland face NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, in a seven-game series starting on Tuesday night. The winner will face the Milwaukee Bucks or the Toronto Raptors in the NBA finals, which start at the of May.

Wyden, a senator from Oregon, wrote to Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, asking for “safe passage” for Kanter. “I ask your government to facilitate Mr Kanter’s safe passage to and from Canada should the Portland Trail Blazers play the Toronto Raptors in Toronto, Canada, in the upcoming NBA finals,” the letter reads. “I also urge your government to state publicly that it will not comply with any Interpol red notice meant to interfere with Mr Kanter’s livelihood and to intimidate him and his family back in Turkey.” In January Turkey requested an Interpol red notice for Kanter’s extradition and arrest on terrorism charges.

Kanter, who supports the Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen who Turkey blames for being behind the 2016 coup, denies being a terrorist. “The only thing I terrorise is the rim,” he wrote on Twitter earlier this year.


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/14/enes-kanter-recep-tayyip-erdogan-turkey-nba-canada

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Reply US senator asks Canada to protect Erdoğan critic Kanter during NBA finals (Original post)
Eugene May 2019 OP
mr_lebowski May 2019 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 09:59 AM

1. Luckily for Enes Kanter ...

That particular eventuality ... should rank pretty low on his list of current concerns ...

This is the DU member formerly known as mr_lebowski.

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