Turkish prosecutor seeks Interpol red notice for NBA’s Enes Kanter
A Turkish prosecutor on Tuesday applied for an Interpol red notice for the arrest of Enes Kanter, a Turkish basketball player for New York Knicks, for links to a group Ankara accuses of orchestrating the 2016 failed coup, pro-government Milliyet newspaper reported.
The 26-year-old New York Knicks centre, an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is accused of membership of the Gülen movement, which Ankara designates as a terrorist organisation.
Kanter admits to being a supporter of Fethullah Gülen, a reclusive Islamist cleric who ran a string of schools across Turkey and encouraged followers to take up influential jobs in the civil service, military, police, judiciary and media.
Turkey listed the Gülen movement, a former ally of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), as a terrorist organisation shortly before the coup attempt, and since then members have been targeted in purges within Turkey and around the world.
Turkey is currently seeking the extradition of Gülen from the United States, where he has resided in since 1999, but U.S. officials have said Turkish authorities have failed to present enough evidence.
The Istanbul chief public prosecutor's office prepared paperwork seeking Kanter’s extradition, Milliyet said. An Interpol red notice informs the police in member states of a suspected wanted criminal.
Kanter made headlines last week when he skipped a New York Knicks trip to Britain as he said he feared being murdered by Turkish spies.
"There's a chance that I can get killed out there," Kanter said.
The NBA star player was detained last year at an airport in Romania after being told his Turkish passport had been cancelled, but was permitted to leave hours later.