NEW YORK – Enes Kanter, the Turkish NBA star whose home country has revoked his passport, on Friday expressed disdain on social media at reports that Turkey’s government had issued a warrant for his arrest.
“You can’t catch me. Don’t waste your breath. I will come on my own will anyway, to spit on your ugly, hateful faces,” Kanter said in a Twitter post accompanied by a photo of a story by Turkish newspaper Sabah about the arrest warrant.
Kanter’s agent, the NBA players union and representatives for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kanter’s team, did not respond to requests for comment.
Kanter, a vocal critic of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, was detained in Romania on May 20 when authorities learned his Turkish passport had been revoked. He returned to the U.S. on Sunday.
On Monday in New York, Kanter lashed out at Erdogan at a news conference, calling him the “Hitler of our century.”
The center was traveling on a charity and promotional tour. He holds a U.S. green card that allows him to live and work in the country on a permanent basis.
Criticism of Erdogan has intensified since an April referendum made constitutional changes that gave the Turkish leader new powers in a move some called an authoritative power grab. On May 17, a street brawl erupted in Washington, D.C., between protesters and Turkish security personnel during Erdogan’s visit to the U.S. capital.