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May 14 2019

NBA showdown featuring Enes Kanter will not be televised in Turkey - Reuters

The NBA Western Conference finals, where Portland Trail Blazers’ Enes Kanter will be playing, will not be televised in Turkey, where he is accused of terrorist links, Reuters news agency reported.

This is the first time the series will not be broadcast in Turkey as S Sport, the main TV broadcaster of National Basketball Association games in the country, will ignore the conference final on Tuesday between the Blazers and defending champion Golden State Warriors in a bid to keep Kanter off Turkish screens, it said.

Kanter, who scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a four-point Blazers victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, has been kept off Turkish television since last year when a Turkish court indicted him, Reuters said.

Turkish authorities have cancelled Kanter’s passport and issued a warrant for his arrest warrant and an Interpol red notice over his support for the Gülen religious movement, which Ankara says orchestrated for the July 2016 coup attempt.

Kanter has publicly denounced Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and affirmed his support for the Gülen movement, designated a terrorist organisation by the Turkish government.

The 26-year old made headlines in January after he refused to travel to London for a key game over fears he would be targeted by Turkish intelligence agents. 

The full NBA playoffs have been televised in Turkey since broadcasts began in the 1990s.