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Thunder's Enes Kanter Back In The U.S. After Being Detained in Romania

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Enes Kanter, a Swiss-born Turkish citizen, is back in the United States, following his detainment at a Romanian airport over the weekend.

Kanter fled Indonesia, where he was hosting a basketball clinic in Jakarta, on Saturday after his manager was awoke him in the middle of the night.

"My manager knocked on my door around 2.30am and said we need to talk. He said the secret service of Indonesia and army is looking for you. Turkish government called them and said he’s a dangerous man, we need to talk to him."

After a flight to Singapore and brief layover in Frankfurt, Kanter arrived in Bucharest. There he was detained in a Romanian airport, after officials were notified his passport has been revoked by Turkey, where Kanter is a citizen.

In 2016, tens of thousands of Turkish citizens living abroad had their passports revoked by the Turkish government.

Kanter claims politics is at play. He’s been a vocal critic of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and says he continues to get death threats over social media because of his political views.

"It was of course scary because there was a chance they might send me back to Turkey. And if they sent me back to Turkey, there’s a chance you guys wouldn’t have heard a word from me the second day."

Kanter credited the Department of Homeland Security and lawyers for the Thunder and the National Basketball Players Association for helping facilitate his return to the United States.

Kanter, who received his green card last year, says he wants to become a United States citizen.

"Right now I am country-less. I am open to adoption definitely. I am going to try to become an American citizen. I have a green card. We will see if they can speed up the process a little bit. It would definitely be nice. Right now my next move is becoming an American citizen."

Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
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