In this week’s edition of Capitol Report, analyst Patrick B. McGuigan praised Enes Kanter, the Oklahoma City Thunder player who has rejoiced over the embrace he received from Oklahomans since coming coming to the NBA franchise two years ago.
McGuigan sketched the targeting of Kanter, winner of the Dialogue Institute’s “Humanitarian Award” a few weeks ago, by the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — including detention of Kanter’s father for several days this past week, and a diplomatic crisis triggered when the Ankara regime canceled the star athlete’s passport.
Returning to an issue he covered earlier this year, McGuigan pointed to this summer’s narrowly-approved referendum that eroded Turkey’s unique position as the world’s largest Islamic-dominated democratic Republic, saying that Erodogan has more power than ever to arrest journalists, civil servants and others who do not toe the line for the dictator’s drive to crush dissent.
The CapitolBeatOK editor encouraged U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw his friendship from the Turkish ruler. He recalled that during Ronald Reagan’s time in office, the president pressed for fair treatment and immigration rights for Jewish dissidents in the former Soviet Union, an ultimately-successful strategy. McGuigan said Erdogan should “tear down the walls” he has constructed to suppress diversity and shatter fair-play for political, ethnic and religious minorities in Turkey.