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New York Knicks centre Enes Kanter says he will not travel to London for his side’s upcoming NBA game because of fears over Turkish spies.
The Turkish native is a critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and was detained in Romania when he travelled overseas in May 2017.
The Knicks will play the Washington Wizards at the O2 Arena on 17 January.
“There’s a chance that I can get killed out there. So I’m just going to stay here,” the 26-year-old said.
Kanter’s Turkish passport was cancelled in 2017, which he said was because of his political views.
An arrest warrant was issued for Kanter’s father, Mehmet, in June 2018 after the university professor was accused of contacting members of a banned organisation.
“I can’t even go out there and just do my job. So it’s pretty sad,” Kanter added.
“I want to be out there helping my team.”
The Knicks said on Saturday that Kanter would not make the trip because of a visa issue.