Enes Kanter wants to become U.S. citizen after detainment in Romania
Enes Kanter has returned to the United States after his Turkish passport was canceled and he was detained by Romanian authorities and received death threats. Kanter held a press conference in New York City on Monday morning and expressed his hopes of becoming an American citizen.
"Right now I am country-less," Kanter said, according to ESPN.com. "I am open to adoption definitely. I am going to try to become an American citizen. I have a green card. We will see if they can speed up the process a little bit. It would definitely be nice. Right now my next move is becoming an American citizen."
Kanter once called the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "the Hitler of our century" and received backlash on social media. He said that his passport was revoked because of his views. Kanter, who turned 25 on Saturday, has been an outspoken critic of Erdogan in the past, so much so his family—who still live in Turkey—publicly disowned him last year. He is a supporter of Fethullah Gulen, the alleged mastermind behind 2016's failed coup to unseat Erdogan from power.
He made his return to the United States with the assistance of Oklahoma City Thunder lawyers, Homeland Security, the NBA and NBA Players Association. He was able to travel to London before boarding a flight to New York.
Kanter spent time in Indonesia doing work for his Enes Kanter Light Foundation, which provides help for those in need. Indonesian authorities were on the lookout for Kanter and believed he was a "dangerous man." Kanter and his agent fled to Singapore and then to Romania before authorities caught up to him.
Kanter has a green card that was issued in 2016.