Enes Kanter announced on twitter earlier today that his father Mehmet had been acquitted of his terrorism charges, by the Turkish government. Mehmet had been arrested seven years ago on terrorism charges. The real reason behind his detainment was because of Enes’ “outspoken criticism of the [Turkish] ruling party”. Enes himself has not travelled to games outside of the US as the Turkish regime has issued a warrant for his arrest.
Kanter regularly uses his platform to fight for social and political reform, both in the US and his home country of Turkey. At a recent Black Lives Matter protest in Boston Enes said “First of all, I want to thank you all for what you’re doing… I really, really appreciate it. The second thing I want to say, man; we need change and change cannot wait, you know? “I get emotional, but we are on the right side of history, man. You know what? Black lives matter, right? Let’s go.”
Previously discussing the plight of innocent people in Turkey he said that “My friends’ family are in jail. I hope the world is watching this. I want people to do something about it. A lot of people are awaiting help. (We need to) Definitely do something against the Erdoğan government. I love Turkey, I love my country, but I’m just trying to speak up and be the voice of the innocent people.” This statement played a major part in the Government forcing his parents to publicly disown their son in 2016.
His Father’s release from prison Enes attributes to “the pressure we have put on the Turkish regime.” He has vowed to keep fighting to help free innocent people imprisoned by the government of Erdoğan. Most of the western stands in support of Kanter’s viewpoints In contrast, German professional footballer, Mesut Ozil quit the national team over challenges to his support of Erdoğan from the media and fans alike.
As Kanter continues his fight for justice, I hope the release of his father from prison helps to fuel him in this difficult time.