Enes Kanter’s passport was canceled by the Turkish embassy on Saturday, and the Oklahoma City Thunder center is being detained in Romania.
“The reason behind it is just, of course, my political views,” Kanter said. “And the guy who did it is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey.”
I'm being held at Romanian airport by Police!! pic.twitter.com/uYZMBqKx54
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 20, 2017
There are potential repercussions to the situation. The forward is facing deportation and will likely be arrested, according to Mahir Zeynalov of The Globe Post.
— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) May 20, 2017
The delicate nature of this situation is heightened by Erdogan’s recent visit to the United States. Earlier this week in Washington, D.C., a brawl occurred outside the residence of the Turkish ambassador to the United States. Erdogan watched from his car as members of his security team clashed with protesters. Some of the protesters claimed that members of Erdogan’s security detail engaged in excessive violence. Nearly a dozen people were injured in the incident.
How this affects Kanter’s status is unknown, but it’s one more variable to consider in an already-complicated collection of competing tensions.