Knicks’ Kanter to skip London trip, fearing Erdogan reprisal

Ex-NBA star slams FETO player's 'smears' of Turkey

Ex-NBA star slams FETO player's 'smears' of Turkey

"I talked to the front office and decided I'm not going".

In 2017, the sportsman's father Mehmet was arrested in Turkey and charged with membership of a terrorist group. I could get killed very easy. I'm not going, I'm just gonna stay here, just practise here.

Kanter expressed that he feels safe in the United States. They [the Knicks] are not going to come out and say "Enes Kanter may get killed" - they just want to say visa issues so there is no negative energy on my team mates.

"They've got a lot of surprises there", Kanter added. He says he can't travel anywhere except the USA and Canada because "there's a chance I could get killed out there".

Less than two weeks away from their game against the Washington Wizards in London, the New York Knicks have reportedly decided that Enes Kanter will not be making the flight with the team due to fear for the center's safety in Europe.

Kanter is a follower of a US -based Turkish cleric accused by Turkey's government of masterminding a failed military coup in 2016.

Kanter continued, saying, "It's pretty sad" that he can't travel with the Knicks and be there for his team.

Top 4 unchanged, rest of AP Top 25 poll a jumble
After two conference victories over Penn State and Indiana, Michigan stayed at No. 2 in the latest Associated Press poll. The Spartans (13-2) took down Northwestern 8-55 on Wednesday and No. 14 Ohio State, in Columbus, 86-77 on Saturday.

Turkish president Erdogan - whose government is known for human rights abuses - blames Gulen for a failed 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

The basketball star's father, former professor Mehmet Kanter, was indicted in Turkey previous year and charged with "membership in a terror group", AP reported, although he had publicly disavowed his son's beliefs.

"It's very sad", he said.

Speaking to the BBC, Mike Bass, a spokesman for the NBA said: "The NBA has played hundreds of games outside of the U.S. and this is a very unique and unprecedented situation".

In May of previous year Kanter - who then played for the Oklahoma City Thunder - was detained at a Romanian airport after being told on arrival his Turkish passport was cancelled - a move that Kanter blamed on his political views, AFP reports.

Kanter says he legitimately would fear for his life if he were to travel to London because of political issues.

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