Turkish NBA player’s father denies Gülen links in court

The father of Turkish NBA player Enes Kanter on Tuesday denied accusations he had links to the group accused of orchestrating 2016 failed coup attempt.

Mehmet Kanter, who faces up to 10 years in jail over ties to the Gülen movement, told a Turkish court he had no ties to the group, independent news site T24 reported.

"I reject the accusations. I am not a member of Mr. Gülen's movement," Mehmet Kanter said in a court in Turkey’s northwestern Tekirdağ.

Ankara designates the Gülen movement a terrorist organisation and has pursued a worldwide crackdown on members of the group, including Portland Trail Blazers player Enes Kanter.

Turkish authorities have cancelled Enes Kanter’s passport and issued him with an arrest warrant and Interpol red notice over his support for the Gülen movement.  Enes Kanter has publicly denounced Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling him “this century’s Hitler” and affirming his support for the religious movement by informally taking the surname of Fethullah Gülen, the Muslim cleric who leads the movement.

Kanter’s father Mehmet, a university professor, was briefly detained in 2017 and his passport was confiscated after his release.

Mehmet Kanter, who previously disowned his son, said his only link to the Gülen movement was Enes and he would visit his son and "rescue him from the quagmire he is in’’ if his travel ban is lifted.

The public prosecutor ruled for the continuation of Mehmet Kanter’s travel ban and scheduled the next hearing for October 10, T24 said.