Turkish center Enes Kanter of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder said he was detained and his passport seized in a Romanian airport on Saturday, but was later released and is now headed back to the United States.
Kanter is expected to return to New York via a flight from London following the intervention of State Department and NBA officials to get him out of Romania.
The outspoken Kanter said in a video posted on Twitter that authorities had detained him in the Bucharest airport and told him that his passport had been cancelled.
He said his political views that oppose Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was the reason for his situation.
Hours later, he was freed by Romanian authorities.
Later on Saturday, Kanter tweeted that he had safely arrived in London and is heading back to New York where he has “Got lots of things to say with lots of crazy stories.”
The Daily Caller reports:
In addition to being heavily critical of Erdogan, Kanter is also a supporter of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who Erdogan wants extradited back to Turkey.
Erdogan accuses Gulen, his former ally, of orchestrating last July’s failed coup attempt.
In the wake of the coup attempt, Erdogan has arrested tens of thousands of Turks and purged tens of thousands more from their jobs based on allegations of supporting dissenting groups.