Enes Kanter To Skip London Trip Due To Feud With Turkish President

Due to a longstanding feud with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Enes Kanter will not travel with the Knicks to London when the team faces the Wizards later this month, he told reporters on Friday (Twitter link).

Following a 16-point, 15-rebound performance in a win over the Lakers in Los Angeles, Kanter said he feared for his life if he left the country for the Knicks’ Jan. 17 tilt in London.

“I talk to the front office and decided I’m not going,’’ Kanter said, per the New York Post. “The freaking lunatic, there’s a chance I can get killed out there. I talked to the front office. I’m not going. I’m going to stay here and practice. It’s pretty sad. All this stuff affects my career in basketball. I want to help my team win, but because of one lunatic guy I can’t even go there to do my job.

“Oh yeah, they got a lot of spies there. I could get killed very easy. It would be a very ugly situation.”

After Kanter criticized Erdogan in June 2016 on Twitter, his passport was canceled by the Turkish Embassy in May 2017. The 26-year-old was detained in Romania and an arrest warrant was issued by the Turkish government, but he was able to return to the United States.

Kanter said he will practice while the team is overseas in London. The big man was recently demoted to the bench in favor of rookies Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson. He subsequently met with Knicks’ general manager Scott Perry to discuss his role but reportedly did not request a trade. It’s possible the Knicks, who sport a 10-29 record, deal Kanter ahead of the Feb.7 trade deadline.

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11 thoughts on “Enes Kanter To Skip London Trip Due To Feud With Turkish President

  1. acarneglia

    At the end of the day this is just a game, Kanter’s life and safety is what’s most important.

  2. Hen1CHC

    Kanter gets a lot of hate, and while he does take drama out-of-house, he’s still a solid player who seemingly just wants to start and win in a situation that, for the betterment of the Knicks franchise, can’t provide him either. He’s a competitor tho and parts of that hunger should be respected.

  3. whodatcoon

    Kanter is a valuable player that could help a contender down the stretch. I think he stayed in NY so that he can afford to take a pay cut for a better situation in 19/20. I remember the story about Kanter and Turkey, his family was forced to public disown him for their own safety. Fake democracy is a real problem today.

  4. goldenmisfit

    Truly amazing that in 2019 there are situations where families have to disown “member of their family to avoid persecution just because the man was speaking his mind

    • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

      It sure is a reality slap. I’ve never had to worry about being murdered if I went somewhere to do my job.

      Katner and the Knicks made the right decision here, IMO.

  5. hiflew

    How about this one

    Kings get
    Enes Kanter

    Knicks get
    Iman Shumpert, Kosta Koufos, Skal Labissiere

    Not a great deal in my opinion, but honestly it’s kind of tough really seeing another contender with both a need for Kanter and something the Knicks might want in return.

  6. Guest617

    kanter could be off’d anywhere in the world at anytime – islam brotherhood knows no boundaries

  7. x%sure

    England is soft on Islam, but hard on Turkey. Arabs don’t care for Turkey’s Ottoman streak either though, so Ottomanist Erdogan may not get the support necessary for danger to Kanter.
    Best to be safe though I guess

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