PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Senator Ron Wyden is often seen at Blazers games. Now he’s trying to make sure Enes Kanter can play for the Blazers if they advance to the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Wyden wrote a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help “facilitate” Kanter’s safe travels from the US to Canada since Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has retaliated against Kanter for criticizing his home country’s government.
“I also urge your government to state publicly that it will not comply with any Interpol red notice meant to interfere with Mr. Kanter’s livelihood and to initimidate him and his family back in Turkey.”
Wyden separately urged US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to tell his Turkish counterparts their retribution against Kanter for his criticism of their autocratic rule is unacceptable for a US ally.
Sports Illustrated reports Turkish television won’t air the Blazers playoff games because of Kanter’s criticism of Erdogan.
Kanter’s Turkish passport was taken by the government in 2017 in retaliation for his political views. He does not yet qualify for an American passport.
That’s why Wyden wrote the letter to Trudeau and told his staff to work with the Trump administration to make sure Kanter can travel freely to and from the US to Canada, should that need arise.
Toronto is facing the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. The winner of that series will face the winner of the Blazers-Warriors series for the NBA title.Ron Wyden Enes Kanter Letter 05142019 (PDF)
Ron Wyden Enes Kanter Letter 05142019 (Text)