Kanter says he feels safe as long as he’s in America.
It’s no secret that New York Knicks player Enes Kanter has been critical of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter has even gone as far as to call Erdogan the “Hitler of our generation,” comments that Kanter feels have made him an enemy of the state. The NBA player even chose to sit out a team trip to London over fears of being assassinated. This morning, Kanter shared an interview with CBS News where he explained his stance on the situation and some of the recent jail threats against him and his family.
“If I’m in America, I’m safe. I feel very safe,” Kanter said. “But, if I step outside of America, it will be a very dangerous situation.”
He continued by explaining what it means to criticize a politician like Erdogan and what some of the consequences are to something like that.
“If you speak out against Erdoğan, that means you’re a terrorist. If he cannot put you in jail, then he will take your family away and put them in jail and say, ‘if you don’t stop running against me, then I’m gonna keep your family in jail.’ That’s what he’s trying to do, did that to me, that he tried to put my dad in jail, so he thought that I was gonna stop talking, that made me even talk about this more so the world can see it.”
Fellow Turkish national and former NBA player Hedo Turkoglu has been a defender of President Erdogan in the past and has spoken out against Kanter’s comments, calling him “delusional.“