Star in N.B.A., Nonperson on Turkish TV: Enes Kanter Game Pulled


Political opponents are given little airtime and critics of the government have often been accused of supporting terrorism.

Mr. Kanter has been open about being a follower of Mr. Gulen, who runs an organization from an expansive compound in Pennsylvania. Mr. Gulen has denied any involvement in the failed coup, but some of those on trial in Turkey for their role in the attempt, which left 250 people dead, have admitted to being members of his movement.

The issue has torn Mr. Kanter’s family apart. His father, Mehmet Kanter, an academic at a Turkish university, was dismissed from his post amid allegations of being a follower of Mr. Gulen. He later publicly disowned his son in a handwritten letter, saying that the NBA star had been hypnotized by Gulenists and was being used by them.

On Wednesday, sports fans vented their frustration at being denied their game, at times with some humor. They complained that they were being deprived of their viewing rights for political reasons.

“Bro, Enes is not my business,” one fan, Soner Sen, said on Twitter. I want to watch the game. This incident is a shame.”

A Turkish Portland fan site, Portland Turkiye, also protested on Twitter.

“We don’t want to watch our favorite team from illegal streaming websites,” it said. “We want what we deserve, we want what we paid for. We want to watch the WCF in our mother tongue. Basketball is bigger than just one player.”

And in a jibe at the type of vitriol often poured on Gulen supporters in Turkish state media, a fan who calls himself Ozgur wrote, “Wouldn’t it be better to broadcast Enes Kanter’s game and for the commentator to call him ‘bloodless cur, traitor dog, etc., whenever he grabs the ball.’ #WeDoNotWantCensorshipInSports.”

Source : Nytimes