Turkey’s S-Sport cancels NBA coverage after Erdogan critic and player Enes Kanter’s team advances

Turkey’s S-Sport cancels NBA coverage after Erdogan critic and player Enes Kanter’s team advances
Kanter is a center for the Portland Trail blazers who until February played for the New York Knicks.
By bne IntelliNews May 14, 2019

Multiple US news outlets on May 14 carried reports on how the NBA's Western Conference finals will not be televised in Turkey because they will feature the Portland Trail Blazers' Enes Kanter, a Turk who is an outspoken critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan administration officials have in the past responded angrily to Kanter’s remarks about the president and have accused him of having terrorist links to the group they claim orchestrated the 2016 attempted coup, which Kanter has denied.

Commentators for Turkey's S Sport confirmed the series will not be televised.

The NBA playoffs have been televised in Turkey since broadcasts became available in the 1990s.

S-Sport has also made it clear the NBA Finals will also not be televised in Turkey if the Trail Blazers are involved.

Kanter had his Turkish passport cancelled in 2017. He would be arrested if he returned to Turkey.

Earlier this month, the NBA terminated a local vendor who ran the NBA's Turkish-centric Twitter account after he failed to mention Kanter's efforts in Portland's Game 2 win over Denver in the Western Conference semifinals, ESPN reported.

Kanter has a green card, but because of the issues with his safety and his passport, he did not travel to London in January when he was with the Knicks, or to Toronto in February as a member of the Blazers, The Associated Press wrote.

Since the botched attempt at toppling Erdogan, tens of thousands of state employees have been dismissed and jailed, while Turkey has become the world’s biggest jailer of journalists.

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