Romanian minister defends keeping Enes Kanter of Oklahoma City Thunder at airport


BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s foreign minister says his country had no choice in detaining Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter in the capital’s airport.

Teodor Melescanu said Romania could not “proceed otherwise” in comments made to news.ro. He declined to comment further.

Kanter, who is Turkish, was detained at Henri Coanda Airport on Saturday before departing to the United States via London. He said in a video Saturday on his Twitter account that the Turkish embassy canceled his passport and that he had been detained for several hours at a Romanian airport.

Kanter said he believed he was held because of his political views. He has been a critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter supports Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who opposes Erdogan. Gulen lives in Pennsylvania.

Melescanu spoke Sunday from the summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, taking place in Istanbul.

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