Biden silent as Turkey places a bounty on US citizen, former NBA star
Enes Kanter Freedom has met with members of Congress to plead his case
U.S. President Joe Biden has been silent on the bounty that Turkey has placed on the head of an American citizen – and Enes Kanter Freedom is demanding to know why.
“It is unacceptable because I am a U.S. citizen and getting threats and have a bounty on my head on U.S. soil,” the former NBA star told Fox News last week. “And I want my president to actually go out there and do something.”
Last month, the Turkish government placed Kanter Freedom – a former NBA star and naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Turkey – on a wanted list for allegedly being a member of a terrorist organization.
The price tag? Nearly $500,000 for anyone who provides information that leads to his capture.
In the last few weeks, Kanter Freedom has met with more than 125 members of Congress to plead his case. So far, more than 40 House Republicans have signed a letter calling on Biden to consider placing sanctions on Turkey.
“All I’m asking from President Biden is to talk about the human rights violations and put sanctions on individuals,” Kanter Freedom said.
Kanter Freedom, an outspoken advocate of human rights, said Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is one of the leading abusers of human rights.
Kanter Freedom no longer plays in the NBA. When he wore sneakers which read “Free Tibet” during a game in November 2021, China TV temporarily banned coverage of Celtics games. Since then, he has worn similar anti-China warnings on his sneakers, which he believes is the reason why he is now a free agent, essentially ostracized by the league.
This hasn’t stopped him from speaking out against the “brutal regimes” in China and Turkey.
“If God gives you a gift, you can give back to people by standing with them,” he said. “That means so much to people out there who don’t have a voice. If you are not outspoken about some of the issues that are happening, you’re part of the problem.”
In July, Kanter Freedom visited Israel where he co-hosted a multi-faith basketball camp in Jerusalem.