Oklahoma City center Enes Kanter.
Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

Turkey issues arrest warrant for NBA star Enes Kanter

The Turkish government issued an arrest warrant for Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter, accusing him of being a member of a terror group, according to The Daily Sabah, a pro-government Turkish newspaper.

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Kanter was detained at a Romanian airport over the weekend because his passport was canceled by Turkey. Kanter documented the experience on Twitter. 

Kanter has been a longtime critic of controversial Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and is a vocal supporter of Muslim spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen, a man Erdogan blamed for a coup attempt last year.

After the news of the warrant broke Friday, Kanter tweeted, "Stand For What You Believe!"

Gulen, a Muslim spiritual leader, has spent the last 15 years in exile in Pennsylvania. Gulen has denied claims of involvement with the coup, ESPN reported.

The warrant, ESPN reported, refers to “Kanter's alleged use of an encrypted messaging application called Bylock, Sabah said, which Turkey claims was especially created for Gulen supporters."

n Turkey, Kanter's Twitter account is blocked. In the Daily Sabah last summer, Kanter's father, Mehmet, announced the family was disowning him. Kanter said he hasn't spoken with his family in almost two years.

Kanter was detained last week in Romania after the Turkish government revoked his passport. In a video about it, Kanter said Erdogan is the "Hitler of this century."

Using his green card, Kanter returned to the United States via London on Monday. He told reporters he plans on becoming a U.S. citizen.

"Right now I am country-less," Kanter said in Manhattan. "I am open to adoption definitely. I am going to try to become an American citizen."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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