Image shows Oklahoma City Thunder player Enes Knater.
The recent political problems in Turkey has taken its toll on a basketball star Enes Kanter who balls for Oklahoma City Thunder, as the hoopster was disowned by his family in Turkey for showing allegiance to a controversial U.S.-based cleric who has been Ankara’s “Most Wanted Man”.
Enes responded by changing his last name in honor of Fethullah Gulen who’s on a self-imposed exile, trying to avoid a former political ally and now foe–President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Enes Kanter [a 6’11” center], is an ardent follower of Pennsylvania-based Gulen, the leader of the government-banned non-political organization Gulen Movement.
Though the cleric has been accused of spearheading July 15’s failed coup attempt in Turkey, his influence has waxed even stronger around the world, as the Turkish government make efforts to repatriate him for trials.
Enes has however, continued to express his support for the cleric, notwithstanding his father’s allegiance to Erdogan and the Turkish government.
Image Shows Enes Kanter in action.
Mehmet [the basketball player’s father] then thought it necessary to take legal actions against his errant son by writing a letter published by Turkish media on Monday in which he said his son was “hypnotized” by Gulen, adding that he has disowned the 24-year-old NBA player, reports confirm.
“With a feeling of shame I apologize to our president and the Turkish people for having such a son,” Mehmet wrote in the letter, Reuters reported.
Kanter, who regularly tweets about Gulen, answered by posting a letter of commitment to the autocratic leader, written in Turkish.
“Today I lost those who for 24 years I called…my family,” the letter said, Reuters reported. “My own family wanted me to change my surname. The mother who gave birth to me rejected me.”
The letter continued: “May God take every second of my life and give it to my brave Teacher.”
He signed the letter “Enes (Kanter) GULEN.”
Image shows Enes Kanter’s letter.