An NBA Center Faces Imprisonment And Possible Execution In Turkey


Date posted: June 14, 2017

John A. Tures

Normally, the Oklahoma City Thunder would be trying to find a replacement for Kevin Durant, or figure out how to get past the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs or Houston Rockets. They probably didn’t expect they’d have to struggle to keep their center Enes Kanter from being jailed and possibly executed in Turkey by an increasingly authoritarian leader.

Enes Kanter is the best-known figure in a group that’s getting purged by Turkey, whose leader is taking the country away from democracy. His only crimes were twofold. First, he likened Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to a Nazi. Such a charge is ludicrous, especially since Erdogan himself praised Hitler’s style of government.

Hundreds of thousands of Turks have been fired or detained, and tens of thousands have been jailed. Most…aren’t even military members…

Second, Kanter has been labeled a member of a spiritual group led by Fethullah Gulen, a group accused by Turkish President Erdogan of backing a July coup in 2016. Such charges are ludicrous that an aged, ill cleric who has lived in Pennsylvania since 1999 could be a coup mastermind, as opposed to a few misguided lower-level military officers. The Gulen movement even denounced the coup at the time it had its best chance of succeeding.


Kanter is hardly the only target. Hundreds of thousands of Turks have been fired or detained, and tens of thousands have been jailed. Most of those arrested aren’t even military members: they are journalists, prosecutors, judges, police officers, and professors, with women and children in prison under harsh conditions. Hundreds of universities and media outlets were shut down. No one can show judges and professors leading the coup. If the coup really had hundreds of thousands of participants, instead of a tiny handful, it might have succeeded!

Kanter nearly found himself in one of these overcrowded prisons. As he traveled to Romania, Turkey canceled his passport and tried to have him extradited. But he was able to make it back to the United States safely, for now, though he still has to watch out for President Erdogan’s attempt to extradite him and other Turks linked to Gulen back for “punishment” in Turkey.

Erdogan couldn’t grab Kanter, for now. But he did imprison Kanter’s father, even though his dad had spoken out against Gulen and publicly disowned his son. But even in today’s Turkey, that’s not enough to make you safe. Just being associated with someone who is associated with Gulen is enough to get you locked up, as this American pastor found out(locked up for eight months without a trial in Turkey).

Some people weren’t sure about whether to trust Erdogan, or the many groups he’s tried to purge, like the Kurds, military, nationalists, Alevis, secularists, leftists, and Gulenists. The arrest of the Turkish leader of Amnesty International has left little doubts as to how Erdogan feels about human rights. And that brutal beat-down that Erdogan approved of his security forces provided peaceful protesters in Washington, DC provided a sneak peek for the world how the Turkish president deals with those he dislikes at home. In a rare display of bipartisan unity, the House of Representatives voted 397-0 to condemn the action by Erdogan’s security forces.

Right now, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it. There is something you can do. Contact your member of Congress (and senators) and let them know you support keeping those who have fled Erdogan’s persecution, like Enes Kanter, safe here in America, instead of sending them back for prison and a possible death penalty (the Turkish president supports bringing back capital punishment) as so many countries have done. It’s what we did to help those fleeing repression by Communist regimes in the Soviet Union, East Europe, Cuba and Vietnam during the Cold War.

Otherwise, we could see Kanter and fellow Turks deported and likely executed for disagreeing with his country’s president. And Americans can’t let that happen.

Source: Huffington Post , June 13, 2017


Related News

German spy agency chief says does not believe Gulen behind Turkey coup attempt

The Turkish government has failed to convince Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency that U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind last summer’s failed coup in Turkey, the BND head told a German magazine.

Clifton Mayor Anzaldi receives Diversity Award

The annual PII award dinners were established to publicly recognize the outstanding achievements of those who have distinguished themselves in their profession and service to communities in the Garden State. PII’s goal in presenting the awards is to advance the causes of peace, cross-cultural tolerance, interfaith dialogue and human dignity.

Fethullah Gulen Condemns the Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey

Fethullah Gulen Condemns the Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov.

Archbishop Fitzgerald: Fethullah Gülen has inspired many Muslims to be engaged in interfaith dialogue

The English-born Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, one of the Catholic Church’s main experts on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations, has said that Fethullah Gülen has inspired many Muslims to engage in interfaith dialogue, and that this is a good thing.

12-year-old claims asylum with UN as father caught in Erdogan’s anti-Gülen dragnet in Saudi Arabia

The 12-year-old T.K. has claimed asylum with the United Nations (UN) office in Saudi Arabia alone after his/her father was detained by Saudi officials as part of what many say President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ever-growing witch-hunt against the Gulen movement that has spread to overseas in the recent past.

Islamists’ xenophobic policies threaten Turkey

The assaults on Korean tourists and a Uighur chef, who were mistaken for Chinese people, in İstanbul last week have shown the extent of damage dealt to this moderate nation of Turks by the Islamist rulers, who provide political clout to hate crimes and xenophobia in order to sustain their waning power in the government.

Latest News

Erdogan’s persecution: Mother with infant under arrest until husband surrenders self

Erdoğan calls for expanded witch hunt against Gülen followers

Erdoğan’s Crackdown Takes A Toll On Exchange Students In Turkey

Qatar deports 45 Turkish nationals over Gülen links

New Mother Detained Over Alleged Gülen Links Despite Doctor’s Objection In Turkey

UN asks Turkey to compensate businessman arrested in post-coup crackdown

Woman miscarried twins in prison, dead bodies not returned to family

Teacher arrested after repairman found Gülen’s audio CD in computer

Pro-gov’t daily sets up hotline for informing on Gülen followers in EU

In Case You Missed It

Kimse Yok Mu provided aid to 14,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey

TUSKON to sue dailies over disputed land reports

Students from 140 countries to participate in Turkish Olympiads this year

Explained the secret: Gulen gave it as a gift

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Fethullah Gulen

Samples of Kimse Yok Mu Ramadan Aid Activities Worldwide (II)

Toward a security state

Erdogan’s Lust For Power Is Destroying Turkey’s Democracy

Bank Asya lawyers call upon B Group shareholders to join against seizure

Copyright 2017 Hizmet News