Knicks center Enes Kanter's father has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Turkish government, according to Bleacher Report, which cited multiple media reports from the country.
Dr. Mehmet Kanter, whose whereabouts was unclear based on the report, is "likely to be brought into custody when he returns to his home in Istanbul."
This is only the latest development in a long-running battle between Enes Kanter and the Turkish government.
He has been an outspoken critic of Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, characterizing the autocratic strongman as the "Hitler of our century" and vowing to “spit on (the) ugly, hateful faces" of the president’s supporters within the government-run media.
According to Bleacher Report's story, Kanter believes that his father's prison sentence is the government's way of attacking the NBA player.
In December, the Turkish government reportedly was seeking to put Enes Kanter in prison for more than four years on charges of insulting Erdogan. In May 2017, Turkey issued a warrant for his arrest, and he was detained at a Romanian airport because his Turkish passport had been revoked.
The U.S. government had to intervene to secure his return to the United States after he was accused by his home country’s government of being a fugitive and a terrorist for his support of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric blamed for a failed military coup in Turkey.
After Monday's news of his father's sentence, Kanter said in a statement to Bleacher Report: "No matter what happens, I will continue to keep fighting for human rights and freedom of speech, justice and democracy above all. I will stand for what I believe in. All I'm doing is trying to be the voice of all those innocent people."
Kanter told B/R's Yaron Weitzman that he hasn't spoken to his father or family for fear that it would put them in danger.