This NBA Player Was Disowned by His Family Because of …

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Center, Enes Kanter, is most likely exiled from his home country, Turkey. Worse still, according to reports from Turkey, his family disowned him. The Daily Sabah reports:

Kanter’s father Mehmet Kanter disowned his son for his ties with the Gülen Movement. Saying that Enes was hypnotized by the Gülenist Terror Organization [FETÖ], his father wrote: “I apologize to the Turkish people and the president for having such a son.” […]

Stressing that he has been educating students for almost 30 years, Kanter said: “His statements and behavior trouble our family. I told Enes that we would disown him should he not change his course. He did not care.”

The elder Kanter said he has not been able to communicate with Enes since 2015. “I would not have taken Enes to the U.S. for the basketball camp where his talent was discovered had I known that it would come to this point,” he said.

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Also speaking to Daily Sabah, Mehmet Kanter’s cousin Bilal Kanter said the Kanter family does not want Enes to bear the Kanter name. “We had warned him previously about his ties with the FETÖ. We have not been able to reach out to Enes for a long time,” he said, adding that the Gülenists controlled Enes for his wealth and reputation.

(Keep in mind, the Daily Sabah is a pro-AKP newspaper; the pro-Gülenist Today’s Zaman, was seized by the Turkish government in early March.)

Kanter was educated in Gülenist schools, and has expressed his support of Fethullah Gülen, who was blamed for the alleged military coup in Turkey. Turkey’s president, Recep Taqqip Erdogan, and the Justice and Development Party (or AKP), denounced Gülen and his education system (already engrained in the U.S.) “as a terrorist cult.”

He posted his support on Twitter, which A.J. Kahn from Vice Sports translated from Turkish to English:

Enes is far from home. “Today I lost my father, my mother, my siblings and all of my relatives of 24 years,” he wrote in his Hey Universe statement. He went on to describe his upbringing and a life of learning from Fethullah Gülen’s organization. “God exists, grief does not,” Enes concluded. He signed it “Enes (Kanter) GÜLEN.”

Sadly, with no free press and no freedom of thought in Turkey, it’s safer for Kanter to play basketball and live in America than in his home country. And difference of opinion can actually lead to imprisonment and death, let alone being cut off by one’s family.


Bethany Blankley

Bethany Blankley is a political analyst for Fox News Radio and has appeared on television and radio programs nationwide. She writes about political, cultural, and religious issues in America from the perspective of an evangelical and former communications staffer. She was a communications strategist for four U.S. Senators, one U.S. Congressman, a former New York governor, and several non-profits. She earned her MA in Theology from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Follow her @bethanyblankley &

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