The father of New York Knicks big man Enes Kanter has reportedly been sentenced to a lengthy prison term, according to multiple outlets in Turkey. Kanter, 26, has been very outspoken on the struggles taking place in his homeland in recent years.
ESPN NBA writer Ian Begley took to Facebook to explain what was reportedly happening. Kanter's father, Mehmet, is reportedly not in Turkey at this time, but he could be detained upon return.
"Turkish news outlets are reporting that Enes Kanter's father, Mehmet Kanter, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail by a court in Turkey," Begley reports.
Kanter reportedly released the following statement:
"No matter what happens, I will continue to keep fighting for Human rights and Freedom of speech," Kanter said.
Enes Kanter was reportedly wanted in prison by Turkey's government at the end of 2017. He shrugged off the news at the time. Kanter hasn't visited the country in years out of caution.
"Four years? That’s it?" he said of his reported prison sentence back in December. "For all of the trash I’ve been talking?"
Kanter has been in the NBA since 2011. He was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. He played for the Jazz from 2011-15 before leaving for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 6-foot-11 big man has been with New York since the beginning of the 2017-18 season. Kanter was part of the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City.