>> I'm New Yorker now.>> New York Knicks center, Enes Kanter, in an interview with Reuters, urged President Trump to do something to improve human rights in his home country of Turkey, following a report this week that said Turkish prosecutors requested the NBA player's arrest and extradition over his ties to an exiled cleric who Turkey accuses of plotting to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan.
>> I feel like Trump definitely should talk about these issues with what's going on in Turkey. Because there are lots of reports out there that people are getting kidnapped, getting tortures in jail, and just getting killed.>> The 26-year-old has been a vocal critic of Erdogan and his human rights record.
>> He's a terrible man.>> He's met with Republicans including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, as well as Democrats in Congress about human rights in Turkey, but has yet to speak to anyone in the Trump administration. Kanter describes himself as a close ally to US-based Islamic cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who is wanted in Turkey on suspicion of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016, when rogue soldiers commandeered war planes and tanks in a bid to seize power, after which thousands were jailed.
Kanter was indicted by a Turkish court last year over his ties to Gulen, and that association has led to death threats.>> Of course, most of it is on social media. And people are asking me, are you taking them serious? I was like, of course, those are death threats.
You have to take them serious. And I talked to Knicks' security, and they told me, just take a screenshot, all of them, and send it to us. But it got through a point there was so many of them, I'm like, you know what? I'm not gonna even bother doing that anymore because there was so many.
>> Because the 6'11" center fears arrest by Turkish agents or assassination, Kanter decided to skip his team showcase game against the Washington Wizards in London, Thursday, but said he'll be there in spirit.>> I'm gonna put my jersey. I'm gonna put my double zero jersey on, and I'm gonna feel like I'm sitting on the bench with my teammates.
And I'm gonna cheer for them.>> Where are you gonna be watching from?>> In my apartment, nothing crazy. But I wanna feel like I am in the game with them because I deserve to be in there with them.