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Turkish prosecutor wants NBA player Enes Kanter jailed for insulting President Erdogan

December 22, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Turkish prosecutor wants NBA player Enes Kanter jailed for insulting President Erdogan

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New York Knicks star Enes Kanter sparked controversy in his native country of Turkey after he posted tweets criticizing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

According to Reuters, a prosecutor in his native homeland on Wednesday indicted he wants to sentence Enes Kanter to up to four years in prison for offending Erdogan in a series of tweets he posted between May and June 2016.

Kanter replied with a tweet that translates to: “I have said less than that honorless (man) deserves. Add another four years for me.”

The Knicks center, who has roughly 526,000 followers on Twitter, has previously been at odds with the Turkish government. Early this year, the government withdrew Kanter’s passport and issued a warrant for his arrest because of his backing for exiled U.S.-based imam Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen, who has been accused of playing a central role in the failed Turkish coup of 2016, has been in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999 and refuses to admit that he had any involvement in the attempted coup.

In May, Kanter was detained at an airport in Romania for several hours after officials discovered that his passport had been revoked. He was ultimately permitted to return to the U.S., where he gave a news conference in which he called Erdogan the “Hitler of our century.”

Erdogan has had increasingly strained relations in recent years with the U.S., the European Union, and NATO. After the failed coup of 2016, Erdogan purged tens of thousands of government employees, civil servants, and reporters who were believed to have been involved in the scheme.

While going to foreign countries, he is known to surround himself with guards known as the “Moustacheers,” which gained their nickname for having mustaches like Erdogan.

The “Moustacheers” generated headlines when they violently clashed with anti-Erdogan protesters outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. last may.

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