Most likely you have not thought about journeyman Hedo Türkoğlu in a long while. Here’s a timely reminder that he has been, since 2016, a “chief advisor” to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Hedo obviously stands in contrast to his fellow NBA Turk, Enes Kanter, who is one of the president’s most outspoken critics and an acolyte of Fethullah Gülen, Turkish exile and Erdoğan antagonist.
Kanter, whose latest run-in with the regime saw him detained in Romania after having his Turkish passport seized, said last Friday that he intended to sit out the Knicks’ up and coming trip to London because of a paranoid fear of political retribution. “Sadly, I’m not going because of that freaking lunatic, the Turkish president,” Kanter told ESPN. “There’s a chance that I can get killed out there.”
As a chief advisor to the “freaking lunatic,” Turkoglu was peeved by these remarks. Today he posted a standard-issue damage-control explanation that chalked up Kanter’s travel obstacles to passport and visa issues, conveniently eliding all the very real scares that Kanter and his family have endured under the Erdoğan regime.