You may remember NBA forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Enes Kanter. He’s the one who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like the United States to turn over to him because of his outspoken criticism of the regime which is currently eradicating democracy in Turkey. For the time being Kanter seems to be safe enough here in the United States, but his positions have caused him a lot of trouble in his native land. His own family disowned him, either out of disapproval of his positions or in fear of their own government. That wasn’t enough to save Kanter’s father, however. He’s been arrested by Erdogan and disappeared like so many of his other countrymen. (The Hill)
Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter is calling on the world to rally in opposition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after his father was reportedly arrested by the Turkish government on Friday.
Kanter said Friday that his father, who lives in Turkey, was imprisoned and potentially vulnerable to torture because of the NBA player’s vocal opposition to Erdogan, whom he has repeatedly called “the Hitler of our century.”
“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 in a statement posted on his website.
Kanter’s concerns are hardly unfounded or simple, overheated rhetoric. We’ve been seeing credible reports from the BBC dating back to last winter about incidents of Erodan’s opponents being tortured in detention as the military attempts to extract information about other alleged coup participants. Of course, the father could also simply be a bargaining chip right now which Erdogan hopes will either convince Kanter to come home and surrender or get the United States to turn him over. I certainly hope the latter is unlikely because the guy would no doubt wind up in a dungeon somewhere with his feet in an acid bath.
At the same time, relations between Turkey and Germany have hit the rocks. The Germans are upset that Turkey isn’t allowing their officials to visit the German troops stationed at Incirlik air base. This is yet another tit-for-tat from Erdogan as he seeks to crack down on his perceived enemies outside of the country. (Associated Press)
Germany’s foreign minister is meeting with his Turkish counterpart in an attempt to overcome an impasse over Turkey’s refusal to allow German lawmakers visit troops stationed at a Turkish air base.
Turkey blocked the visit to Incirlik Air Base, angered by German authorities’ decision to grant asylum to soldiers Turkey accuses of participating in last year’s failed coup.
Incirlik is Turkey’s key leverage with everyone in the west at this point (including the United States) and Erdogan is using it to his full advantage. But in the end it all comes down to his anger with Cleric Fethullah Gulen who is currently living in exile in Pennsylvania. Erdogan still blames the coup attempt on him and is focusing his attention on him like Sauron looking for the One Ring of Power. Kanter is a self-proclaimed Gulen supporter and the people Turkey is trying to extradite from Germany are accused of being the same.
In his latest move against the cleric, Erdogan has announced that Gulen will lose his Turkish citizenship in the coming months if he doesn’t return home. (AP)
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities say U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for last year’s coup, will lose his Turkish citizenship if he fails to return to Turkey within three months.
In a decision printed in the Official Gazette on Monday, the Interior Ministry named Gulen among 130 people wanted by authorities and who risk being stripped of their citizenship unless they return.
Wow… that must be a tough call for Gulen, huh? He has to decide whether or not to stay here in the United States where he has remained safe for years and lose the ability to freely travel back to the place where he will be immediately arrested, thrown in a dungeon and most likely tortured and killed. Tough call, I’m sure. But if Erdogan is ever thrown out of power and replaced by the opposition I’m pretty sure that Gulen would be able to get a pass to go back home if he desired.
With all of this in mind, how many more lines can President Erdogan cross before he’s gone “too far?” This tyrant is totally off the rails, but he controls some critical real estate which everyone opposing ISIS needs. Unfortunately he still seems to have all the cards and he’s playing them like a master.