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Knicks’ Enes Kanter responds after Hedo Turkoglu says he’s engaging in ‘political smear campaign’ against Turkish president

Enes Kanter Hedo Turkoglu

New York Knicks big man and Turkey native Enes Kanter does not have a good relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This is no secret.

As a matter of fact, the situation between the two sides is so tense that Kanter is opting not to join the Knicks for their trip to London to play the Washington Wizards on Jan. 17 for fear of his safety.

Fellow Turk and former NBA player Hedo Turkoglu is not buying Kanter’s reasoning, saying that he would not be able to travel to another country anyway due to visa issues:

“We know that [Kanter] has not been able to travel to many countries due to visa issues since 2017,” Turkoglu said in a statement posted to Twitter on Monday. “In other words, Kanter can’t enter the UK not because of fears for life as he claims but due to passport and visa issues. This being the long-known truth, he is trying to get the limelight with irrational justifications and political remarks.”

Turkoglu added that Kanter’s comments “constitute another example of the political smear campaign Kanter has been conducting against Turkey as well as his efforts to attribute importance to himself by covering up the contradictions in his sports career.”

Kanter then responded on Twitter, posting a photo of his travel document as well as calling Turkoglu “Erdogan’s lap dog.” Yikes:

In 39 games this season, Kanter is averaging 14.4 points and 10.7 rebounds over 26.5 minutes a night while shooting 54 percent from the floor and 83.5 percent from the free-throw line.

The 26-year-old is now in his eighth NBA season.