Celtics’ Enes Kanter calls out Ilhan Omar over Turkey sanctions vote
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter slammed freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar for voting against a bill to impose economic sanctions on Turkey over its offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Kanter, who is Turkish, tweeted Tuesday night that it was “an absolute disappointment and shame” that the Minnesota congresswoman was the only Democrat to not support the “Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act.”
He added that it seemed like Omar was on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s payroll and “working for his interests, but not for the American people and democracy!”
The House bill had rare bipartisan support and overwhelmingly passed in a vote of 403-16 on Tuesday, with 176 Republicans voting for it and just 15 opposing the measure, according to The Hill.
Omar penned an op-ed piece for the Washington Post last week in which she called sanctions part of the “failed foreign policy playbook.”
And on Tuesday, she voted “present” on a bill that would recognize the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I as a “genocide.”
In an explanation of her vote, Omar said “accountability and recognition of genocide should not be used as a cudgel in a political fight,” but should instead “be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics.”
The House passed the bill with overwhelming support — 405 in favor, compared to 11 in opposition.
Kanter, who has vocally clashed with Ankara in the past, had his passport revoked in Romania in 2017 and claimed later that his father had been arrested by Turkish authorities, according to The Hill.
In January, he didn’t travel with the New York Knicks — his team at the time — to London because of death threats.
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