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Enes Kanter’s father acquitted of terror charges

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By Agence France-Presse

The father of Turkish NBA player Enes Kanter has been acquitted on charges of belonging to a terror group, Turkish media reported Friday, as the basketballer hailed his father’s release.

Mehmet Kanter, a university professor, was charged in 2018 with membership to the group that Ankara blames for a 2016 failed coup.

Appearing in court in Tekirdag, northwestern Turkey on Thursday, he rejected any ties to the movement of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, the Birgun newspaper reported on its website.

The elder Kanter had been briefly detained in 2017. His passport was confiscated after his release, preventing him from travelling overseas.

His 28-year-old son Enes, who plays with the Boston Celtics and is facing similar accusations, took to Twitter on Friday to say his father had been released.

“Wow! I could cry,” wrote Kanter.

“MY DAD HAS BEEN RELEASED! “This is due to the pressure we have put on the Turkish regime.”

Kanter said that his father had faced a “Kangaroo court” and been accused of “being a criminal just because he is my dad”.

The Celtics centre is an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and has expressed support for Gulen.

Turkey blames the attempted overthrow of Erdogan in 2016 on the president’s former ally-turned-foe Gulen, but the preacher vehemently denies the claims.

Enes Kanter was detained in 2017 at a Romanian airport after being told his Turkish passport had been cancelled — a move that the basketballer said was due to his political views.

Kanter was allowed to leave a few hours later.