NBA player and Turkish national Enes Kanter poked fun at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following reports that the Turkish leader died from a heart attack on Tuesday.
Eric Kanter is a center for the Boston Celtics. He is also known to be a harsh critic of Erdoğan and his regime.
He can’t have a heart attack.
He doesn’t have a heart. https://t.co/QUgy86rwLF
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) July 22, 2019
In the past, Kanter has accused the Turkish president of running a totalitarian regime that suppresses basic freedoms as well as human rights. At one point, he even called Erdogan “the Hitler of our century.”
So when reports of Erdogan dying from a heart attack began surfacing, Kanter advantage of the opportunity to blast the Turkish leader with a touch of cynicism saying: “He can’t have a heart attack. He doesn’t have a heart.”
Erdogan and Kanter have a history of animosity. This dates back to 2017 when the Turkish president revoked his passport. Erdogan also filed a warrant for the Celtics center’s arrest for being a member of a “terrorist organization”.
Since Kanter is in the U.S., he is protected by the first amendment to speak his mind.
Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey defended Kanter’s tweet calling the big man: “Yet another community will be inspired by his excellence and his advocacy in the face of authoritarian intimidation.
Senator @RonWyden and I are committed to working with @EnesKanter so that he can safely travel outside of the U.S. to fully do his job for the @celtics and exercise his right to free speech. We applaud his willingness to speak freely against authoritarianism. pic.twitter.com/72sccGGrpt
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) July 23, 2019
Breaking Israel News reported on a Twitter blackout in Turkey following rumors of Erdogan’s death.