NBA Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter’s father, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Kanter, who was detained on Friday in İstanbul as part of witch-hunt targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, was taken to Tekirdağ province, where an investigation into the group had been launched, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Thirty-six people have been detained as part of the same investigation initiated by the Tekirdağ Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. Five subjects of the probe are still at large.
“HEY WORLD MY DAD HAS BEEN ARRESTED by Turkish government and the Hitler of our century He is potentially to get tortured as thousand others,” tweeted Enes Kanter on Friday.
Professor Kanter retired from Medeniyet University’s faculty of medicine in 2016.
An investigation is being carried out into his son by an İstanbul prosecutor on charges of membership in an armed terrorist organization, Turkish media reports said on Friday.
Last month İstanbul Public Prosecutor Can Tuncay issued an arrest warrant for the younger Kanter on charges of membership in an armed terrorist organization.
“You can’t catch me. Don’t waste your breath. I will come on my own will anyway, to spit on your ugly, hateful faces,” Kanter said in a Twitter post accompanied by a photo of a story by the Sabah newspaper about the warrant.
A critic of Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, Enes Kanter was detained at the airport in Bucharest on May 20 when authorities learned his Turkish passport had been revoked. He returned to the United States shortly thereafter.
At a press conference the following day, the 6-foot, 11-inch center for the Oklahoma City Thunder called Erdoğan the “Hitler of our century.”
Sabah had reported that Kanter was deemed a “fugitive” by a Turkish court for his support of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
Turkey has accused Gülen and the movement he inspired of masterminding a failed coup in Turkey last July, a charge he and the movement strongly deny.
Kanter is accused by the court of using a smart phone application known as ByLock and praising the faith-based Gülen movement from his social media accounts.
The İstanbul Public Prosecutor’s office has reportedly applied to Turkey’s Justice Ministry to ask Interpol to issue a red notice for Kanter, which would prevent him from traveling.
Kanter said he has become a target of President Erdoğan because he has been an outspoken critic.
Twenty-four-year-old Kanter is one of the most famous Turkish basketball players in the
NBA. His family disowned him after he pledged support to Turkish Islamic scholar Gülen.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin officially declared Oct. 29, 2016 “Enes Kanter Day” for the professional success of the Oklahoma City Thunder player and his dedication to civic organizations in the state.
According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.