Enes Kanter won’t be intimidated — by NBA stars or the Turkish government.
Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu Agency said prosecutors are seeking more than four years in prison for the Knicks cenon charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Four years? That’s it?” Kanter said at Knicks practice Wednesday morning. “For all of the trash I’ve been talking?”
Kanter is a supporter of Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed by Turkey for last year’s failed military coup. He took jabs at the president in a series of tweets in May and June 2016.
While playing for the Thunder, Kanter was detained in Romania on May 20 because his Turkish passport was canceled. He said he was finally able to return to the United States after American officials intervened, adding that there was a warrant out for his arrest.
In a video from the airport, called Erdogan a “dictator” and “the Hitler of our century.”
Enes Kanter isn’t bothered by Turkey wanting to imprison him for at least four years.
On Wednesday, Kanter — who is praying “for all these innocent people in Turkey” — told the media that he’s “good” and extra motivated to make the playoffs in light of the recent news.
“I’m a New Yorker now, huh? I mean, if you guys accept me, I’m from here now,” Kanter said. “I get my (U.S.) passport in two, three years I hope.”
Kanter added: “They hate when I talk to you guys in front of all of these cameras, these microphones. They hate it, but that’s why they’re doing all this. ‘Oh, we’re going to take his dad away, we’re going to put him in prison.’ It doesn’t really bother me. (If) we made the playoffs, it will drive him crazy.”
Kanter said Turkey won’t even show the Knicks’ games in Turkey.
“That’s a lot of money they’re losing. But I think it’s just messed up, the stuff in Turkey,” he said. “It’s really sad. I was talking to my manager yesterday about it. Some of the shoe companies don’t even want to give me no deal because they were scared the deal is going to get cut in Turkey because they’ve got million dollar investments in Turkey.”
The Knicks (16-14) face the Celtics at home on Thursday and currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference standings.