Enes Kanter has already had a big media day Monday after he was held in a Romanian airport Saturday.
Kanter returned from Europe on Sunday and then started Monday morning with an interview on CBS This Morning and he spoke about his unusual situation.
After that he held a press conference and then later showed up on Outside The Lines on ESPN where he took more questions and spoke out even more on the topic.
The situation started in Indonesia when he was sleeping according to Kanter. His manager woke him up at 2:30 and said authorities were looking for him.
According to Kanter in his interview with CBS This Morning, the Turkish Government told the Indonesia government that he is a “dangerous man.” After this situation Kanter began his journey to try and escape the country.
“It was maybe the craziest moments in my whole life,” Kanter said on Outside The Lines. “It’s like the (Indonesian) secret service and army are looking for me.”
Kanter then tried to get out of the country. However, in his journey he was stranded in Romania because his home country Turkey revoked his passport. Kanter has been an outspoken critic of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and he says his passport has been rescinded because of his political views.
“It was a really strong statement, calling (Erdogan) the Hitler of our generation,” Kanter said at his press conference. “I hope the world will do something about that.”
According to CBS This Morning, Turkey has “canceled tens of thousands of passports for Turkish citizens living abroad.”
Kanter worked with his lawyers, Oklahoma City Thunder lawyers, the NBPA and Homeland Security to get back to the United States.
“It was scary, because there was a chance that they might send me back to Turkey,” Kanter said.
Kanter claims that he has received death threats “almost everyday” for his political stance against Erdogan.
“But you know what?” Kanter asked in his interview with CBS This Morning. “I stand up for what I believe.”
Teammates, trainers and Sam Presti were all texting Kanter asking him if there was anything they could do to help him.
Kanter went on to explain that he has not spoken to his family in Turkey in over a year. He said that his parents would be jailed the second they made contact with him.
“I’m trying to be the voice of all these innocent people,” Kanter said.
Kanter doesn’t believe he will return to Turkey anytime soon because he and his family would be in danger. Kanter is now going to apply for U.S. citizenship.
“I feel like Oklahoma City is my home now,” Kanter said.