Turkish TV station, due to Enes Kanter's criticisms, will not broadcast Western Conference finals

Enes Kanter will represent his Turkish nationality when he takes the court in the NBA's Western Conference Finals starting on Tuesday, but at least one Turkey TV network will not be recognizing him -- or any players on the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors.

As ESPN reported, the S Sport station, one of the country's major sports carriers, will not televise the series because of Kanter's history of criticizing Turkey's government.

"I can say clearly that we will not be broadcasting the Warriors-Blazers series," S Sport's Omer Sarac told Reuters. "Furthermore, if Portland makes it to the (NBA) Finals, (that) will not be broadcast, either... This situation is not about us, but it is what it is."

The veteran center has been estranged from his homeland for at least two years and has publicly opposed current Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, even identifying himself as an ally of Erdogan foe and outlawed Turkish fugitive Fethullah Gulen. Gulen was accused of leading a failed coup attempt in 2016. Kanter called Erdogan the "Hitler of our century" in 2017, after he was detained at a Turkish airport and had his passport cancelled.

Kanter isn't alone in his public dispute with Turkey, which also sought an arrest warrant for the then-Oklahoma City Thunder veteran in 2017. Earlier this month, per ESPN, the NBA "terminated a local vendor who ran the NBA's Turkish-centric Twitter account." The account failed to mention Kanter's contributions to the Trail Blazers' NBA Playoffs win in the conference semifinals.

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