While Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter was able to escape from the clutches of the Turkish government over his criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his family may not be so lucky.
Last month Kanter had his passport cancelled by the Turkish regime while he was in Romania following his team’s early ouster from the NBA playoffs. He was able to make his way back to the United States but the Erdogan government issued a warrant for his arrest.
Now, in the true fashion of tyrannical dictators, Kanter’s father has been arrested by the government and could possibly be subjected to torture as leverage against his son.
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 (@EnesKanter) June 2, 2017
While it’s understandable for Kanter to rail against the oppressive Erdogan regime it’s hard to see how it is helpful to refer to him as “Hitler” which is an analogy that has been so overused that invoking the Nazi leader is akin to flogging a dead horse.
It probably won’t help his father either who could be put under the whip for his son’s comparison. The authoritarian Erdogan once had a man thrown into prison for comparing him to the character “Gollum” from Lord of the Rings.
It is abhorrent that his family is being targeted in Kanter’s absence and is an outrageous violation of human rights.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 2, 2017
With a warrant out for his own arrest in Turkey, Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter said Friday that his father, Mehmet, has been arrested by the Turkish government.
Mehmet Kanter was detained in his Istanbul home for an investigation undertaken by a prosecutor’s office in northwestern Turkey, according to the Anadolu news agency.
Enes Kanter released a statement saying his father is being held because of his political views and that he may be tortured “simply for being my family member.”
“My father is arrested because of my outspoken criticism of the ruling party. He may get tortured for simply being my family member,” Kanter said. “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.”
According to Anadolu, Mehmet Kanter is being sent to Tekirdag province for questioning. In Turkey, people are detained, then prosecutors may seek an arrest pending trial or release the detainee.
Unlike America, the consequences of dissent against the government in other countries can be very grave and if the elder Kanter has indeed been arrested it is unlikely that this is going to end well for him unless his basketball star son is willing to trade himself for his father.
Colin Kaepernick should be paying close attention to the plight of the Kanter’s and praise God that he wasn’t disappeared after his national anthem protests and criticism of the U.S.A. last year.