Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter’s passport has been seized by Romanian police at Henri Coanda Airport upon a request from the Turkish government, according to a tweet posted by the Turkish basketball player on Saturday.
Kanter said in a 45-second video that he has been held at the airport for hours on the grounds that his passport has been canceled by the Turkish government due to his “political views.”
“The guy who did this, you know, is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. [He is] the president of Turkey. You guys know him by his attack on people in Washington, DC. He is a bad man. He is a dictator. He is the Hitler of our century. I will keep you posted. Just pray for us,” Kanter said.
The Turkish government has been trying to confiscate more than 50,000 passports including those held by relatives of journalists living in exile.
Twenty-four-year-old Kanter is one of the most famous Turkish basketball players in the NBA. His family disowned him after he pledged support to Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who the Turkish government says was behind a failed coup in Turkey on July 15.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin officially declared Oct. 29, 2016 “Enes Kanter Day” for the professional success of the Oklahoma City Thunder player and his dedication to civic organizations in the state.