The Boston Celtics’ Enes Kanter, who has faced death threats from Turkey’s anti-Semitic dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, denounced violent attacks on the Jewish community in the U.S.
Boston Celtics’ NBA star Enes Kanter tweeted on Sunday support for America’s Jewish community. The tweet followed daily reports of violent anti-Semitic attacks, including five Jews being stabbed by a machete-wielding man during a Chanukah party in Monsey, New York on Saturday.
America has no place for hate.
Our Jewish sisters and brothers should not be living in fear.#Antisemitism will NOT be tolerated.
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) December 29, 2019
Kanter is no stranger to hate. The Swiss-born Turkish expat fiercely criticizes the intolerance of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who transformed the once-modern state into an extreme Islamic country.
“When I say something, it goes viral — and they hate that, the Turkish government hates that,” Kanter said, according to Canada’s CBC News last week.
In January, Kanter did not travel as an NBA player to a game in London because he feared he would be killed over his public opposition to Erdoğan.
“I don’t have a home right now,” Kanter said, according to CBC. “If I was anywhere else besides in America, besides Canada, yes, I believe my life could be in danger because I get death threats almost every day [from] Erdogan’s goons.”
The basketball star was denied his Turkish passport and banned from entry into his country in 2017. He is a “fugitive” due to his support for the movement of Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, who promotes democracy and modernity and rejects Islamist political philosophy. Erdoğan’s regime considers the Gülen movement a “terror organization” and issued an international warrant (“red notice”) for Kanter’s arrest.
Both Kanter and Gülen now live in the US for fear of repercussions based on their political positions and advocacy.
Last week, Kanter traveled with his team to Canada, the first time he left America since he visited Toronto in November 2018, according to the NY Post.
He arrived dressed in a black-t-shirt with white writing that read “Freedom for ALL.” He often writes “freedom” on his basketball shoes while playing.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured Kanter that he would not be arrested when entering the country in defiance of the “red notice” Turkey placed on him.
“I play in the NBA so they know what’s going on in my life, but I’m trying to use my platform to be a voice of all those innocent people out there who don’t have a voice,” Kanter said, according to CBS.