June 19, 2018 / 9:44 AM / 8 months ago

Father of Knicks' Kanter charged with 'membership in a terror group'

Turkish NBA player Enes Kanter speaks about the revocation of his Turkish passport and return to the United States at National Basketball Players Association headquarters in New York, U.S., May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A Turkish court accepted an indictment charging the father of New York Knicks center Enes Kanter with “membership in a terror group,” according to the country’s official news agency Monday.

Prosecutors will seek conviction and a 5- to 10-year prison term after an investigation of Mehmet Kanter, Anadolu Agency said. There is no word when a trial is set to begin.

The Knicks’ Kanter, 26, has said publicly he believes the Turkish government has targeted his father over the player’s strong statements condemning the Turkish government and president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

ESPN reported that Kanter’s father is not currently in Turkey, according to Hank Fetic, the manager of the Knicks’ center.

Mehmet Kanter is a former professor who was forced from public service and jailed for five days last summer as one of thousands of Turkish citizens tied to cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government alleged attempted a military coup in 2016.

The younger Kanter, whose Turkish passport was canceled by Turkish authorities on in May 2017, tweeted Monday to “Keep my family, innocent people in your prayers” with the hashtag “DictatorErdogan.” His Twitter account is banned from active status in Turkey.

—Field Level Media

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