The conflict between the Turkish government and Celtics center Enes Kanter is well-documented and serious.
Turkey has threatened to imprison Kanter, an outspoken critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He is not allowed in his home country, as Erdoğan revoked his passport in 2017. He's been suspiciously detained in a foreign airport.
On Wednesday, Kanter and Turkey's mutual animosity bubbled. Kanter was set to hold a basketball clinic in Long Island, New York. However, he had to cancel the clinic because of increasing pressure from the Turkish government. Kanter alleges that the Turkish consulate in New York City threatened a local mosque and "sent out their goons and encouraged people in Turkey to call the mosque and leave threatening messages".
Such a disgrace that @TRConsulNY attacked @ICLINY through their bully tactics and caused my camp’s cancellation; they punished over 300+ New Yorker kids who were supposed to have a free Basketball camp. This is how the #TurkishDictator operates. pic.twitter.com/CmHmnqWSgH— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) July 25, 2019
Though Wednesday's stunning development is not life-threatening to Kanter, it does show how much influence a foreign country like Turkey can have on American states, cities, and towns. As Kanter's e-mail read, he just wanted to provide opportunities for kids regardless of their race or religion.
Luckily, the Turkish government can't prevent Kanter from indulging in Turkish cheat days with teammate Tacko Fall or embracing Boston as his new home.
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