Enes Kanter is one of the most fun loving NBA players in the league, that is easy to tell when you check out his Twitter. The Thunder big-man is constantly tweeting out funny jokes about himself and Steven Adams or his is tweeting about his loving for Oklahoma and the team he is on, but beyond all of that Enes has much much more going on in his life.
There is much turmoil in Turkey in recent times. Notice that Enes did not get a chance to play for the Turkish team when they were trying to make the Olympics? His position on that turmoil is is why. The next step is now much worse though, Enes’ family has disowned him. According to Vice Sports, his father has this to say, “I apologize to the Turkish people and the president for having such a son.”
Enes responded saying that he lost his family of 24 years. He went on to say “God exists, grief does not.” He will now be changing his last name. He will no longer be Enes Kanter he will be Enes Gülen. The Gülen name comes from a pastor named Fethullah Gülen, who, according to Vice Sports, is a “preacher of world peace and inter-religious understanding.” Many others, however, would label him as a terrorist.
Supporting Gülen is what first got Enes in trouble with his government and his family. Gülen is thought to be behind the recent failed coup in Turkey. After said coup Enes continued to back Gülen and even faced death threats because of it. Many of Gülen’s followers in Turkey were arrested for their beliefs.
By being in Oklahoma, Enes is in a place where he has the freedom to believe whatever he believes and the Thunder fans will be behind him no matter what. He is going through a tough time right now, make sure to support the OKC center when he needs it most.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to more properly reflect the complex situation surrounding Enes Kanter and the country of Turkey.