The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office drafted an extradition request and red notice or international arrest warrant for NBA player Enes Kanter yesterday.
“Kanter, who plays for NBA side New York Knicks, is known for his open support for the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ)” state media said
Istanbul prosecutors accuse him of membership of a terrorist group in reference to FETÖ, which is blamed for the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
In their request, the prosecutors cited Kanter’s connection to senior FETÖ figures and his social media posts praising Fetullah Gülen, who also lives in the U.S.
Kanter is also accused of funding the group, which is already implicated in a string of crimes, from the coup attempt that killed 251 people, to illegal wiretapping and money laundering. The request for extradition and an international arrest warrant were sent to the Justice Ministry.
The player has recently announced he would not join a game against the Milwaukee Bucks scheduled for Jan. 17 in London, citing he feared he might be murdered by “spies” working for Turkey, where he already faces a domestic arrest warrant for his ties to the terrorist group but officials denied the allegation, saying he can’t travel to London because of visa issues.
The Turkish passport of this self-styled “adopted” son of Gülen was already revoked but he was able to fly back to the U.S. with the help of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when he was stopped in Romania back in May 2017.
The indictment against Kanter adds that he has been a user of ByLock, an encrypted messaging app exclusively used for correspondence between FETÖ members. He has been summoned to testify on previous investigations but Kanter has not returned to Turkey since FETÖ openly started a campaign to seize power in 2013.