Enes Kanter talks Turkey with former President Bill Clinton
Sept. 17, 2019
For those who have yet to be inculcated on the cause taken up by Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, here's a quick rundown:
Though born in Zurich, Switzerland, Kanter is a native of Turkey, where he spent virtually his entire life - even playing professionally in Instanbul where he played for Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague - until moving stateside to pursue his dreams of playing in the NBA.
He's been an outspoken critic of Turkey's current president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whom he considers a tyrannical dictator who dissolved the nation's democracy in order to create an authoritarian state. Because of Kanter's affiliation with a popular Muslim cleric that Erdoğan sees as an enemy and threat, along with his comments against the current regime, he's been branded as a terrorist by the Turkish government.
At this point, his father has been imprisoned and Kanter has an international warrant out for his arrest. In a piece for Time Magazine , Kanter explained his rationale for opposing Erdoğan while listing the president's oppression of human rights.
Consequentially, Kanter has only become more outspoken against Erdoğan and what he perceives as a dictatorship. In his effort to travel safely, bring attention to the issues in Turkey and possibly to find solutions that would bring democracy back to his home, he's been doing rounds with politicians across the United States .
That includes former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom he would meet with on Monday.
The conversation seemingly went well, with all parties showing off their face pearly whites at the meeting.
Kanter even took to Twitter to transcribe a humorous conversation between he and the former President, in which quips were made about the reason Kanter chose the jersey worn by former Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving ( he humorously said he wants to be the reason nobody else will, a shot at Irving's own comments on wearing the number 11 jersey ) and an exchange at the end which suggests that Kanter offered to gift the powerful political couple tickets to a Celtics game, though it's unclear if the offer was accepted.
Kanter's story is unique and one of the most interesting in the NBA. Further, for those who may not be the biggest fans of Kanter the player, his stand against oppression and authoritarian regimes is equal parts endearing and impressive.
We don't know who Kanter will meet with next to discuss the state of Turkey but he does appear to be moving up the ladder.
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