Enes Kanter claims Turkish consulate threatened mosque into canceling his free basketball camp

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Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter (00) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, April 5, 2019, in Denver. The Nuggets won 119-110. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Enes Kanter plays in the NBA while being a wanted man in his home coutnry of Turkey. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Fear of the reach of Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan has caused Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter to miss games, experience sadistic taunts from fans and sleep with a panic button hooked up to the FBI.

Fear of a prominent dissident like Enes Kanter has caused Erdogan’s government to ban the broadcast of an NBA playoff series involving him, and now the big man is claiming one of the country’s consulates had gone as far as threatening a mosque into canceling his basketball camp.

Kanter tweeted a statement Wednesday saying that the Turkish consulate of New York had sent out “goons” and encouraged threats against the Islamic Center of Long Island to intimidate the mosque into canceling a free basketball camp for children.

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In addition to expressing disgust toward the consulate, Kanter said he was disappointed the mosque caved into the threats rather than take a stand and call the police.

Enes Kanter has criticized Erdogan for years

This isn’t the first time Kanter has called out Turkey and it almost certainly won’t be the last. He has been confined to the United States (no road games against the Toronto Raptors) for months since the Turkish government requested a “red notice” from INTERPOL for his arrest over his support of exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen.

Erdogan has accused Gülen of plotting a failed coup attempt in 2016, and Kanter’s unwavering support of the cleric and constant criticism of the dictator has made him a wanted man in Turkey.

The situation was bad enough that Kanter’s family cut ties with him in 2016. That didn’t stop Turkey from sentencing Kanter’s father to 15 years in prison last year.

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