Former NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom, who changed his name after obtaining US citizenship in 2021, is now listed as a wanted person. In addition to being on the list of 2023’s most-wanted terrorists, this is the first time that his former nation has actually offered a $530K reward for details leading to the former NBA player’s capture.
According to a report by Turkish Minute, the former NBA player who is allegedly a member of a terrorist organization was listed on Turkey’s Interior Ministry’s “Terrorist Wanted List.” The government of Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered a bounty of 10 million Turkish liras ($532,000 USD) for information leading to Kanter’s arrest.
“I’m not the only one. There are so many innocent journalists, academics, athletes, activists and educators on this list. Now their lives are in danger because of the Turkish government.”
Freedom hasn’t held back in calling Erdogan out over the years, calling him the “Hitler of our century” and a “dictator.” “Because of my platform, whenever I say something, it goes everywhere, and the Turkish government hates that,” Freedom stated to the NY Post this week.
“They’re really sick of it, and they said, ‘Enough is enough,’ and doing whatever they can to shut me up.”
Kanter, who acquired American citizenship in 2021, played in the NBA for 13 seasons, most recently for the Boston Celtics in 2021–2022. He has also played for the Jazz, Thunder, Knicks, Trailblazers, and Thunder.
Despite the recent announcement of the bounty, Kanter has been the target of years of Turkish attempts to intimidate him. Enes is now worried for his security, though, as he thinks he will now be the target of more than just the government.
Kanter said to the Post,
“That makes it so dangerous. Before the bounty, Turkish intelligence was after the people on the list, but now everyone is after them because they want the money.”
Enes is well-known for his outspoken nature, frequently discussing violations of human rights all over the globe. Kanter has also criticized the NBA, the Association, and athletes like LeBron James for doing business with China.
Kanter’s outspokenness has got him into some serious trouble. Now it remains to be seen how he manages to get out of it. Until then, stay tuned to Thirsty.
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