So this fiasco started last summer when OKC Thunder star Enes Kanter voiced his support for Fetullah Gulen, the preacher that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for everything. Kanter’s family, who resides in Turkey, publicly disowned him.

Then last weekend Romania didn’t allow Kanter to enter the country because Turkey canceled his passport. Luckily, the country didn’t deport Kanter and he made it safely back to the states.

But Turkey will not stop. Now officials have issued an arrest warrant for Kanter for allegedly belonging to the “terrorist group” Gulenist Terror Group (FETO).

Turkey’s Claims Against Kanter

This is what The Daily Sabah claims:

An article by Nazif Karaman says Prosecutor Can Tuncay from the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office asked a court to approve an arrest warrant for Kanter who debuted in the NBA in 2011. The court approved the request in the investigation of Kanter on charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization.”

The prosecutor cites that Kanter has been a user of Bylock, an encrypted messaging app exclusively used for correspondence between FETÖ members. Kanter is already known for his tweets praising FETÖ and its leaders and after his father in Turkey disowned him, he published a bizarre letter heaping praise on Fetullah Gülen, signed with the name “Enes Gülen.” He is accused of maintaining close contacts with FETÖ’s senior figures and the group’s other members. He has been summoned to testify in previous investigations but Kanter did not return to Turkey since FETÖ openly started a campaign to seize power in 2013.

The prosecutor’s office also sought an international red notice from Interpol. Like the case with other FETÖ and terror suspects, Kanter’s passport was canceled and this led to a rejection to his entry to Romania where he was on a promotional tour earlier this week.

Yes, Turkey issued an INTERPOL RED NOTICE for Kanter. That does not mean Interpol wants to arrest him, but it’s the highest notice the organization can give:

How is a Red Notice issued?

1. Police in one of our member countries request a Red Notice via their National Central Bureau and provide information on the case.
2. The INTERPOL General Secretariat publishes the Notice after a compliance check is completed.
3. Police all around the world are alerted.

Why is the Red Notice important?

  • It gives high, international visibility to cases
  • Criminals and suspects are flagged to border officials, making travel difficult
  • Countries can request and share critical information linked to an investigation.

What’s next?

Turkey cannot issue an arrest warrant to Kanter while he remains in America. They cannot even do that when the Thunder play the Raptors in Toronto. From Sports Illustrated:

This dynamic is consistent with the concept of jurisdiction. Among other things, jurisdiction generally limits a country’s enforcement of laws to matters that occur in its own territories. Jurisdiction mostly prevents extraterritorial applications of a country’s legal authority.

The fact that Turkish police can’t arrest Kanter while he is in Oklahoma doesn’t mean Turkey can’t cause Kanter problems. Most significantly, Turkey could petition the U.S. to extradite Kanter.

America and Turkey do have an extradition agreement, but that does not mean America will immediately hand over Kanter. Turkey has attempted numerous times to have America extradite Gulen. SI continues:

Since 1981, Turkey and the U.S. have agreed to extradition terms that are expressed in their extradition treaty. In order to comply with the treaty, Turkey would need to explain the details of the charge, offer some evidence that Kanter is guilty and establish that Kanter’s alleged misconduct would constitute a crime in either country.

As the U.S.-Turkey extradition treaty makes clear, extradition shall not be granted when its purpose is “of a political character” or when the accompanying arrest has been made “on account of his political opinions.” It stands to reason that Kanter, an outspoken critic of the Turkish government, could offer a compelling argument that the arrest warrant is of a political character.

Further, any attempt to extradite Kanter would take months and possibly years. The request and accompanying materials would undergo a lengthy and thorough review by the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Justice Department and potentially a federal magistrate judge. Kanter and his attorneys would be able to offer defenses along the way.

No Country for Kanter

But since Turkey canceled his passport, Kanter does not have a country. After the mess in Romania, Kanter has expressed his desire to become a U.S. citizen. He already has some protection since he has a green card, “which makes him a permanent resident of the U.S.” He can also use this to enter Canada.

However, until he becomes a citizen of some country with a passport, he cannot travel outside of North America.

None of this seems to trouble Kanter:

Translation: HAHAHA! Don’t even bother. I will come all by myself to spit on your ugly, hateful faces.