“Everyone is after me”
$500,000 bounty placed on NBA star
After critical statements against Turkey and China, the contractless NBA player Enes Freedom is on Turkey’s wanted list for terrorists.
Published: 39 minutes ago
Turkey has put a $500,000 bounty on its head for basketball player Enes Freedom.
From 2011 to 2022 Enes Freedom (until 2021 Enes Kanter) played in the NBA. He was a solid attacking player who has played for six teams in total but has been without a club since last year.
But in addition to basketball, Freedom, who was born in Zurich in 1992 as the son of a Turkish student, was also often politically involved. He criticized the Turkish Erdogan regime and addressed human rights violations in China.
Arrest warrant from Turkey
In 2017, his Turkish passport was even canceled after he sharply criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Since then, Turkey has issued an arrest warrant for Freedom for being “a member of a terrorist organization”. He then applied for US citizenship, which was granted in 2021. At this time he also had Enes Kanter rename him Enes Freedom.
The big shock followed recently: Turkey put him on the list of most wanted terrorists and put a $500,000 bounty on his head. This is what makes it so dangerous for the basketball player now, he says.
“They will do anything to silence me”
“Before the bounty, only the Turkish secret service was after me, but now everyone is after me because everyone wants the money. Because of my reach, everything I say gets broadcast everywhere and the Turkish government hates that. They’re really fed up with it and they’re doing everything they can to silence me.” 2011
Since the bounty was placed on his head, he has been in constant contact with law enforcement and the FBI. “I’m protected 24/7. I’m speaking up because I’m not the only one on this list.”
Many other athletes, journalists and activists are also said to be on the list. Freedom wants to work for them: “These people are not as well known as I am. They’re much easier targets – and they’re out there alone.” (bjl)