NBA-Kanter says he will not be intimidated by Turkish arrest warrants
(Reuters) - NBA center Enes Kanter promised Thursday to continue its fight against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and alleged human rights abuses by his regime, despite learning that the government had issued nine arrest warrants against him.
Turkish prosecutors have attempted to arrest Kanter on charges of defamation and terrorism, according to July 12 documents released by Nordic Monitor, a group exposing violations by the Erdogan government and others.
"Unbelievable!" Kanter wrote on Twitter.
"The # DictatorErdogan regime has issued 9 arrest warrants against me. The reason for this is that I stand up for human rights, freedom and political prisoners who are being tortured.
"Hey @RTErdogan, I don't care if it's 9 or 9000, I'm NOT giving up."
The 29-year-old Kanter, who will play for the Boston Celtics next season, is an outspoken critic of Erdogan's human rights record, which includes the arrest and detention of 80,000 citizens critical of the government, according to US government officials.
In recent years, Turkey has filed for the international arrest and extradition of Kanter for his ties to US-based clergyman Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016. Gülen denies any connection with the matter.
Kanter, who has lived mainly in the United States for more than a decade, describes himself as a close ally of Gülen.
Last year, seven years after his arrest in Turkey, Kanter's father Mehmet Kanter was acquitted of allegations of being a member of a terrorist group.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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