Sabah newspaper reported Turkish prosecutors are seeking a warrant for the arrest of New York Knicks center Enes Kanter on accusations he is part of a terrorist organization.
Chief prosecutors in Istanbul reportedly have prepared an extradition request for Kanter, who responded to the report immediately via Twitter on Wednesday.
“Turkish Government can NOT present any single piece of evidence of my wrongdoing,” Kanter wrote. “I don’t even have a parking ticket in the US (True). I have always been a law-abiding resident.”
Kanter’s Turkish passport was revoked in 2017 and he refused to travel to London with the Knicks this week, claiming spies or other Turkish operatives could assassinate him.
Knicks head coach David Fizdale said he wasn’t aware of the report as the team met media in London on Wednesday.
“We miss him,” Fizdale added.
Mario Hezonja, a teammate and close friend of Kanter’s, said Wednesday the team wishes he was part of the trip.
“I’m just extremely sad that he’s not with us,” Hezonja said. “As you all know he’s an amazing guy to have around, so I’m just sad that he’s not with us and he’s not going to be on the court with us.”
The newspaper said prosecutors are seeking an Interpol “Red Notice” over alleged ties to Fethullah Gulen, blamed for a failed coup in 2016, and accusations that Kanter provided financial support to that mission.
A Red Notice is a formal request to locate and arrest an individual facing extradition.
The United States would have to comply with the request and likely would do so only in the event there is compelling evidence Kanter committed a crime that could be prosecutable in the U.S.
—Field Level Media