Enes Kanter hasn't held back when discussing Turkey's current political climate under president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the point where it's become troublesome for the New York Knicks center and his family back home.
The outspoken star has remained in the United States due to fear of repercussions if he leaves the country. The Knicks will head to London, England on Jan. 17 to take on the Washington Wizards, but Kanter may stay behind to avoid potentially being forced to return to Turkey after having his passport revoked by his native country last spring.
"I don't have a Turkish passport," Kanter told ESPN's Royce Young. "If I get there and there's Interpol waiting for me, they have to send me back to Turkey because I'm not an American citizen. I'm a Turkish citizen, so they'd have to ship me back to Turkey."
The center holds ties to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who failed to overthrow Erdogan's regime in 2016. Kanter's father, Mehmet, was recently indicted with a charge of "membership in a terror group." It led to Kanter calling Erdogan the "Hitler of our century."
Kanter was detained in a Romanian airport in 2017 after his passport was revoked, but was allowed to return to the U.S., the only place he feels protected from Turkish persecution.
"I know in America they can't do anything," Kanter added. "But anywhere else - I had a camp in Canada I had to cancel, or I was going to go to Norway for a freedom forum, and I canceled it. Because anywhere outside of the U.S., it can be very dangerous. I can't live my life like that, paranoid about what's going to happen. I'll go to Times Square and hang out, or walk around in New York. If it happens, if something happens, it's gonna happen."