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Enes Kanter Freedom

Professional Basketball Player & Human Rights Activist

Middle East and North Africa
[email protected]

Enes Kanter Freedom is an outspoken critic of Turkey’s authoritarian regime and a professional NBA basketball player for the New York Knicks. Because of his criticism of President Erdogan and support of the Gulen movement, Kanter has become a target of the Turkish government and has been publicly disowned by his family. On May 20, 2017, Kanter’s passport was cancelled by the Turkish Embassy while he was traveling from Indonesia to Romania. He was stopped by border police at a Romanian airport and denied entry into the country; he also learned that the Turkish government had issued a warrant for his arrest, charging him with “involvement in a terrorist group.” The NBA and the U.S. government intervened and Kanter was able to return safely to the United States. Shortly thereafter, his father was arrested and detained for five days. Kanter has not been in contact with his family and friends, as they fear reprisal from the Turkish government.