On Friday Turkey issued an arrest warrant for Enes Kanter, accusing him of being a member of a terrorist group, according to a pro-government newspaper. Kanter has been an outspoken critic of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a supporter of exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Erdogan has claimed Gulen was behind an attempted coup against him last July, despite scant evidence to support it. Since then the strongman has taken steps to crush dissent in his country, and he labeled followers of Gulen’s pacifist, pro-democracy, pro-modern movement the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization.”
The 25-year-old Kanter has repeatedly targeted Erdogan’s regime on Twitter, even comparing him to Adolf Hitler. The Oklahoma City Thunder center was detained in Romania last weekend after his Turkish passport was canceled. He has since claimed he will seek American citizenship.
Turkish prosecutors will reportedly apply for an Interpol “red notice” in order to inform the organization’s 190 members that Kanter’s arrest is sought. The country will attempt to have Kanter deported back to stand trial.
Unless playing horrendous defense qualifies as an international crime, I think it’s fairly safe to say the United States will not be deporting Kanter any time soon. I doubt many other countries would comply with the request either.