Turkish prosecutors are reportedly seeking a four-year prison sentence for New York Knicks center Enes Kanter, stemming from his criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to ESPN, Kanter would be tried in absentia regarding tweets he posted about Erdogan in May and June of 2016.
The Associated Press reports that Anadolu Agency says an indictment prepared by the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office accuses Kanter of insulting the president in a series of tweets.
The 25-year old Turkish-born center was detained at a Romanian airport on May 20th and told that his passport had been cancelled, but he was ultimately able to return to the United States after American officials intervened.
The following month, Kanter told ESPN that his father, Mehmet, had been arrested by Turkish authorities due to his political views.
My father is arrested because of my outspoken criticism of the ruling party. He may get tortured for simply being my family member,” Kanter said. “For a second please think and imagine, if something like this is happening to an NBA player, what is happening to the people with no voice or podium to speak on? There could be hundreds of thousands of people that are detained, tortured, or murdered that we are not hearing about.”
Kanter, who received death threats for his political views, has since told ESPN’s Bob Ley that he is “country-less” and wants to become an American citizen.