Enes Kanter won’t travel with Blazers to Toronto due to immigration issues
Enes Kanter’s honeymoon start with the surging Portland Trail Blazers will be briefly interrupted, as he will not be able to travel north of the border for his team’s road game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday due to immigration issues.
Kanter’s passport has been previously revoked because of his conflict with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and there has always been safety risks whenever he leaves the United States. Now, that might be the case once again.
Enes Kanter (immigration issues) will NOT travel to Canada for Friday’s game vs. Raptors in Toronto.
— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) February 27, 2019
Enes Kanter, of Turkish descent, was also unable to travel to London for a January game against the Washington Wizards when he was with the New York Knicks. In an op-ed published by The Washington Post, the eighth-year veteran explained that it was “too risky” for him to travel because he doesn’t have “U.S. citizenship or a U.S. passport” which could offer him protection.
An outspoken opponent of Erdogan, Kanter goes onto detail when in 2017, running a charity basketball camp in Indonesia, local police were searching for him under the direction of the Turkish government. He made it back to the United States only to learn that Turkey had issues a warrant for his arrest.
Kanter was traded to the Trail Blazers at the trade deadline, and he has immediately established himself as an impact player for one of the league’s hottest teams.
The 26-year-old big man has played three games for the Blazers, averaging 14.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in 20.7 minutes if play off the bench.