New York Knick to miss London trip over assassination fears

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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter announced Friday he will not travel to London for the team's upcoming worldwide game against the Washington Wizards on January 17 because he fears for his safety.

Kanter has been very vocal in the past about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and added that he fears that he could be killed by Turkish spies while in London.

The 26-year-old is a native of Turkey and has been an outspoken critic of President Erdogan.

"I said let's let it go and see how things worked and I think now, we've gone halfway through the season and I don't think we're where we thought we would be or where we think we should be", Taylor said. "I would hope that we could get a string of wins together here and get ourselves into contention for the playoffs". In 2017, an arrest warrant was issued for Kanter after the then-Oklahoma City center was critical of Erdogan in a series of tweets posted in 2016. Gulen has denied the allegation.

The Anadolu news agency reported in December 2017 that a Turkish prosecutor had demanded that Kanter be jailed up to four years for the crime of "insulting" Erdogan. But just because of that one lunatic guy-one maniac, one dictator-I can't even go out there and just do my job.

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It had been claimed by Turkish authorities that he had been in contact with 127 suspected members of the Gulenist groups FETO and PDY. I'm not going so I'm just going to stay here, just practice. "I can get killed pretty easy". The Knicks later said Kanter will not be able to make the trip because of visa issues. "That will be a very ugly situation".

On Friday night, the third overall pick of the 2011 draft had 16 points and 15 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench as the Knicks beat the Lakers 119-112 in Los Angeles.

The Knicks, who have Kiwi Ross McMains on the coaching staff, have shown glimpses of their ability but have been wildly inconsistent on their way to a 10-29 record so far this season.

Playing in the media glare of New York, Kanter is the most-high profile player from his country in the National Basketball Association.

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