Turkish TV won't air West finals due to Kanter

Ron Wyden shares a laugh with head coach Terry Stotts and Enes Kanter at a recent Trail Blazers game in Portland

Ron Wyden shares a laugh with head coach Terry Stotts and Enes Kanter at a recent Trail Blazers game in Portland

Turkish broadcaster S Sport will not televise the Western Conference finals between the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers because of criticism of its government by Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, a native of Turkey.

Turkish broadcasting network S Sport will not show the West finals, according to Reuters' Ece Toksaby and Tuvan Gumrukcu.

Turkish fans won't be able to watch Kanter on S Sport, but all the games will be available to fans on NBA TV International and on NBA League Pass.

"If the Portland Trail Blazers and the Toronto Raptors both reach the NBA Finals, Mr. Kanter will again have to consider the security risks associated with work-related travel outside the U.S.", Wyden wrote in the letter, which Kanter posted on social media.

"Even if Senator Wyden and PM Trudeau does their best, Dictator Erdogan will try using/abusing all his powers to manipulate red notice system through Interpol", Kanter told ESPN.

Sen. Ron Wyden of OR has written an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking the Canadian government to "facilitate (Enes) Kanter's safe passage to and from Canada should the Portland Trail Blazers play the Toronto Raptors in Toronto, Canada, in the upcoming NBA Finals". In an effort to ensure Kanter's safety, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden will send a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking the country to "facilitate Mr. Kanter's safe passage to and from Canada". "I'm not a politician". "No matter whatever they do, I won't back down from my fight in the path of democracy, uplifting human rights and freedom of speech". "It shows it's a dictatorship in Turkey". Kanter had his Turkish passport revoked in 2017 and has had a warrant out for his arrest in Turkey since January.

Earlier this month, the NBA's Turkish Twitter account did not mention Kanter after a Portland win over Denver in the second round.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Kanter said the Turkish government is "afraid" of him. That led the National Basketball Association to fire the local social media vendor that ran the account. Kanter said whoever ran the account must have been "scared" of upsetting the government.

Wyden asked Trudeau to state publicly that Canada would not honor the "red notice" Turkey submitted via Interpol to ask foreign countries to detain Kanter.

Facing heightened threats, Kanter did not travel with Portland to play Toronto in March. Kanter has a green card, but because of the issues with his safety and his passport, he did not travel to London in January when he was with the Knicks, or to Toronto in February as a member of the Blazers.

"Interpol should not let itself to get abused by any Dictator regime, including Erdogan's", Kanter said. "But without his Turkish passport - and not yet able to qualify for an American passport - Mr. Kanter does find himself in a particularly tenuous legal position resulting from being a public person using his bully pulpit to speak out against a unsafe bully".

Kanter calls himself Gulen's "adopted son", since communicating with his biological family or friends in Turkey would put them in danger, he said.