A Turkish-born Oklahoma City Thunder star was refused entry into Romania on Saturday because his Turkish passport had been cancelled, Romanian border police said.
Enes Kanter, who plays professionally in the NBA, is a long-time supporter of Pennsylvania-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, whose extradition Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan is seeking in relation to a failed coup last July.
Kanter earlier posted a video on Twitter explaining that Romanian police had detained him at Bucharest airport.
Kanter also Tweeted a photo of himself with his arms around two police officers and a video describing what he said was his situation
‘I’m being held at Romanian airport by police,’ Kanter wrote on his Twitter account, along with a photo of him with his arms around two police officers.
‘We are in Romania and they said they cancelled my passport by Turkish embassy,’ he said in the video, speaking in English.
‘You know because the reason behind it is just of course my political views,’ he explained. He also posted a video explaining the situation in Turkish.
Romanian border police said in a statement that Kanter had come from the United States and made a stop in Frankfurt.
Romanian border police said in a statement that Kanter had come from the United States and made a stop in Frankfurt. Kanter posted this photo on his Twitter also while he was waiting to be released
Kanter plays professionally in the NBA team the Oklahoma City Thunder
‘At the border checkpoint it was discovered that his passport is not valid, his travel document being annulled by the issuing state,’ the statement said, adding he then flew on to London.
Turkish officials were not immediately available to comment.
Kanter said last year he had severed ties with his family and pledged allegiance to Gulen.
Turkish media also published a letter signed by Kanter’s father, disowning his son.
During the coup attempt last year, rogue soldiers in warplanes and tanks tried to seize power in Turkey in a putsch that killed more than 240 people. Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile since 1999, has denied involvement.
‘We are in Romania and they said they cancelled my passport by Turkish embassy,’ he said in the video, speaking in English