NBA Player Cuts Ties With Family in Turkey Over Support for Erdogan Rival

Enes Kanter of the Oklahoma City Thunder writes that his family publicly disavowed him over his support for Fethullah Gulen, adding that 'from now on my mother, father and siblings are the devoted members of Hizment.'

NBA player Enes Kanter at a media availability in 2011.
Mike Segar/Reuters

NBA player Enes Kanter says he has cut ties with his family due to his support for preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused of inciting a failed military coup last month.

The BBC reports that Kanter's father Mehmet had published a letter on Monday in a pro-government Turkish newspaper disowning his son, who he alleged had been "hypnotized" by Gulen's movement.

"With a feeling of shame I apologize to our president and the Turkish people for having such a son," the letter said.

Kanter, a center on Oklahoma City Thunder said after his father's letter he has "lost those who for 24 years I called my family."

"May God take every second of my life and give it to my brave Teacher... From now on my mother, father and siblings are (the)... devoted members of Hizmet."

Gulen supporters in Turkey have been purged in a wave of arrests since the thwarted July 15 coup. Gulen has denied any involvement in the coup.