The deteriorating relationship between Enes Kanter and the government in his native Turkey has been well-documented over the past few years. The veteran NBA big man has been highly critical of his home country's political landscape, including President Recep Erdogan, and it has had repercussions.
Kanter, 27, has been charged in Turkey as a member of a "criminal terrorist" group and Turkish prosecutors have sought an international warrant for Kanter's arrest and return to face those charges in Turkey, which he says comes as a result of his peaceful protests of the country's current leadership.
Last year, Kanter -- then with the Knicks -- was forced to skip a team trip to London, where the Knicks played the Wizards, because he feared the Turkish government would try to kill him while in Europe.
Now, the Celtics center has re-scheduled and moved one of his basketball camps in New York after alleged interference from the Turkish government.
Kanter, who is a practicing Muslim, was set to hold a camp at Islamic Center of Long Island over the weekend but the venue postponed the event, a move that Kanter believes was the result of bullying from the Turkish Consulate. The Islamic Center of Long Island did not set a makeup date.
As a result of that postponement, Kanter has sought an alternative location. According to the New York Daily News, the camp will now be hosted at the Island Garden on Sunday afternoon in West Hempstead.
"The Islamic Center of Long Island is a wonderful local organization that does incredible work in our community," Long Island congresswoman Kathleen Rice said in a statement emailed to the Daily News. "I'm disappointed that the Turkish Consulate politicized this event, which was meant for our kids.
"I do these camps as part of charity and giving back to all communities, whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Christian or have no faith at all," Kanter said. "Which is why I am so hurt that the Islamic Center of Long Island has decided to cancel the camp after the Turkish Consulate in NYC threatened the mosque, sent out their goons and encouraged people in Turkey to call the mosque and leave threatening messages.
Congresswoman Rice helped Kanter get the camp moved because she supports his "advocacy against President Erdogan's authoritarianism."
The United Nations has accused Ergodan's time in office as having been marked by "massive destruction, killings and numerous other serious human rights violations."