Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter, who was detained in Romania over the weekend after his passport was revoked apparently stemming from his political views regarding his native Turkey, said he wants to become an American citizen and revealed he is receiving death threats.The United States “is my home now,” Kanter said Monday. He plans to take steps toward becoming a U.S. citizen.”Right now I am country-less,” Kanter said at a news conference at the National Basketball Players Association headquarters in New York. “I am open to adoption definitely. I am going to try to become an American citizen. I have a green card. We will see if they can speed up the process a little bit. It would definitely be nice. Right now my next move is becoming an American citizen.”Kanter has been an outspoken critic of Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter said Turkey canceled his passport in retaliation for his political views.”It was of course scary,” Kanter said of his whirlwind trip, returning to the U.S. on Sunday. “It was scary because there was a chance they might send me back to Turkey. And if they send me back to Turkey, probably you guys wouldn’t hear a word from me the second day. It would have definitely gotten really ugly.”Kanter said he is receiving death threats “every day” on social media, including two on Monday.Kanter previously called the Turkey president “the Hitler of our century” in a video he posted on Twitter while being detained in Romania on Saturday.Kanter said Monday that Erdogan and the Turkish government have tried to silence anyone who speaks out against their power.Erdogan, who met with President Trump last week at the White House, has declared a new state of emergency in Turkey — arresting 120 journalists, closing more than 150 news outlets and jailing 140,000 people, according to news reports.Kanter said he was “shocked” Erdogan was in Washington D.C. While there, Erdogan’s bodyguards were captured on video attacking protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s home on Embassy Row.”He’s a terrible man,” Kanter said Monday. “I hope the world does something about it. … I hope the whole world is watching. Once these people get to jail, it’s not over for them.”People are getting kidnapped, murdered, tortured, and raped. I love my country, but I’m just trying to speak up for innocent people. … There are thousands of people out there with situations worse than mine.”Kanter said his family’s life in Turkey is in danger and he can’t communicate with them.”If they contact me, they’ll be put in jail,” Kanter said. “The jails are not fun.”Appearing on “CBS This Morning” on Monday, Kanter described his road back to the U.S.Kanter said the trouble began in Indonesia when his manager knocked at his door and said Secret Service and the Indonesian army were looking for him because the Turkish government had called him a “dangerous man.””I was sleeping around 2:30 or something and my manager knocked on my door,” Kanter said on the CBS show. “He said the Secret Service and the Indonesian army were looking for me because the Turkish government told them I was a dangerous man.”We didn’t know what we had to do. We escaped the country and went to Singapore, then we came to Romania.”Kanter said later at the news conference that he will not travel internationally and hopes the Thunder and the NBA will be able to help him gain clearance to travel to Canada next season when the Thunder play the Toronto Raptors.”I have my green card (from) last year,” Kanter said of gaining U.S. citizenship. “The process takes five years. I think I have another three and a half, four more years but I am going to try to speed up the process.”When I am back in Oklahoma, a lot of people say, ‘Oh welcome home.’ I feel like this is my home now. I see all this support, teammates, senators and everybody was supporting (me). I feel like this is my home now, definitely.”The 6-foot-11, 245-pound Kanter averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 72 games this season for the Thunder. He was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz before getting traded to the Thunder in February 2015.
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