Enes Kanter disowned by family, changes name to honor US-based cleric

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Football News

Three weeks after a failed coup in Turkey, the effects have spilled into the world of basketball.

 Oklahoma City Thunder forward Enes Kanter has been disowned by his parents due to his support of Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen -- believed to be involved in the coup -- who is currently in a feud with Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan.

Kanter's father, Mehmet, who supports the Turkish government and Erdogan, issued a handwritten letter to the Turkish media distancing himself -- and the rest of the family -- from the NBA star.

“With a feeling of shame I apologize to our president and the Turkish people for having such a son,” the letter said (via Reuters).

Kanter, 24, has pledged his allegiance to Gulen -- who has claimed his innocence -- in the past. He issued a statement via Twitter, which he signed Enes (Kanter) GULEN, to address his family's decision to sever ties with him.

"Today I lost those who for 24 years I called ... my family ... My own father wanted me to change my surname. The mother who gave birth to me rejected me," Kanter said.

"May God take every second of my life and give it to my brave Teacher... From now on my mother, father and siblings are (the)... devoted members of Hizmet."

Kanter was born in Zurich, Switzerland, before attending Stoneridge Preparatory School in Simi Valley, California. He was the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. After spending three-and-a-half seasons in Utah, Kanter was traded to the Thunder during the 2014-15 season. Kanter has averaged 10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in five seasons 

Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Enes Kanter

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