Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter arrived in the United States on Sunday, a day after being stopped from entering Romania over a passport issue the Turkish NBA star blamed on his political views.
Kanter, an outspoken critic of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was detained and released Saturday at a Bucharest airport after being told his passport had been canceled.
Kanter blamed the situation on Erdogan, whom he called “the Hitler of our century” in a video posted on Twitter.
On Sunday, Kanter posted a photo of himself standing under a sign saying “Welcome to the United States of America.”
“Well!! Hello The most beautiful country in the world. The United States Of America,” Kanter wrote, adding emojis of the US flag and a heart.
Kanter, who let the world know of his situation in Twitter postings Saturday, is expected to speak about the situation Monday in New York.
The Swiss-born veteran of six NBA seasons flew to London after being unable to stay in Romania.
“They said they canceled my passport by Turkish embassy,” Kanter said in the video. “They’ve been holding us here for hours by these two police. You know, the reason behind it is just of course my political views. And the guy who did it is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey.
“He’s a bad, bad man. He’s a dictator. And he’s the Hitler of our century.”
Kanter, who turned 25 on Saturday, had been in Indonesia as part of a global tour for his charity foundation.
Kanter, the third overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds over 72 games this past season for the Thunder, who were ousted in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
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