"Keep wagging your tail."
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter won't be travelling to London with his teammates for their January 17 game against the Wizards across the pond. Kanter's reason behind the move: he believes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might have him assassinated.
Following his comments, Kanter was called out by former NBA player Hedo Turkoglu, now a chief adviser to the president of Turkey. According to Turkoglu, Kanter is "delusional" and his decision not to travel is nothing more than an ongoing "political smear campaign."
Kanter responded moments ago by providing a photo of his travel document and referring to Turkoglu as "Ergodan's lap dog."
Kanter has been critical of Erdogan for years and he believes the Turkish government has targeted his father in the past because of his critical stance against the country's government. According to ESPN, Kanter's Turkish passport was canceled in 2017 and he was held at a Romanian airport upon landing in Bucharest.
Turkoglu had this to say regarding the Knicks center's reason for not travelling to London.
"We know that [Kanter] has not been able to travel to many countries due to visa issues since 2017," Turkoglu said in a statement posted to Twitter on Monday. "In other words, Kanter can't enter the UK not because of fears for life as he claims but due to passport and visa issues. This being the long-known truth, he is trying to get the limelight with irrational justifications and political remarks.
"Such remarks constitute another example of the political smear campaign Kanter has been conducting against Turkey as well as his efforts to attribute importance to himself by covering up the contradictions in his sports career. ... It is obvious that this person's remarks are irrational and distort the truth."