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Turkey Calls for Arrest of NBA Player Who Insulted Erdogan


New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31). (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

A Turkish prosecutor is calling for a National Basketball Association player to be arrested for insulting president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state-run Anadolu news agency reported Wednesday.

Turkish citizen Enes Kanter, who lives in the United States and plays for the New York Knicks, is accused of insulting Erdogan on Twitter.

Kanter responded to the call for his arrest by tweeting, "I have said less than that honorless [man] deserves. Add another 4 years for me, master."

Turkey revoked Kanter's passport earlier this year and issued an arrest warrant, calling him a "fugitive" for his support of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016. Ankara has repeatedly called for the United States to extradite Gulen, who denies any involvement with the failed coup.

Kanter called Erdogan the "Hitler of our century" at a news conference after being detained in Romania when authorities learned his passport had been revoked.

Under emergency rule introduced last year following the botched military coup, more than 50,000 people have been arrested and 150,000 others have lost their jobs.

Kanter has played for the U.S. National Basketball Association since 2011.

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