Enes Kanter, the New York Knicks most noted troll (we hear he also plays basketball sometimes), could be in real hot water if he ever decides to travel back to his home country of Turkey.
According to this ESPN report, the Turkish government is seeking a four-year prison term for Kanter, on charges that he insulted Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter last year. Kanter will be tried in absentia, and is likely to be convicted by a state government that many feel is corrupt. Kanter is a vocal supporter of Fethullah Gulen, the man allegedly responsible for a failed military coup in Turkey in 2016.
Earlier in 2017, Kanter was detained in Romania when his Turkish passport was suddenly cancelled without notice.
When asked about the charges, Kanter surprisingly shrugged them off.
“I was like, ‘Oh, four years.’ I was like, ‘That’s it? Only four years? All the trash I’ve been talking?’ I said I promise you guys, it doesn’t really bother me a little, even one bit,” he said. “My thing is just going out there and just playing basketball…
“[Erdogan] is [a] maniac. Think about it. I mean, America … you’ve got freedom of whatever you want to say. I mean, it’s a free country. But it’s not like that in Turkey. You cannot criticize or you cannot even say nothing bad about the dude, Erdogan. Just, like, say he’s a bad guy and you’re in a prison. It’s politics. People can choose or say whatever they want to say. I think right now the situation there is pretty messed up.”
Kanter’s father was arrested in June, a move that he believes was related to his outspoken comments. Kanter added that he’s just trying to focus on getting the Knicks into the playoffs, because it would “drive Erdogan crazy” to see him achieve continued success.