BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Former Celtic Enes Kanter and Sen. Ed Markey unveiled a bill to help alleviate human rights abuses in Turkey on Sunday. Kanter and Sen. Markey made the announcement at a press conference Sunday afternoon.
Kanter, a Turkish native, has long been a critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, protesting the Turkish Government's attempts to jail its political opponents, activists, journalists and minorities.
The bill, called the Turkey Human Rights Promotion Act of 2021, would direct the Secretary of State to give aid to organizations in Turkey that help release jailed journalists, lawyers, and dissidents in Turkey.
"I want democracy in my country. I want freedom in my country. I want freedom of speech, religion, expression in my country," Kanter said.
The former Celtics player had his passport revoked by Turkey in 2017 for criticizing the government, and the country issued an arrest warrant. He hasn't traveled outside of the country since because he's afraid of international arrest.
"Erdogan uses his government to become the second worst jailer of journalists in the world, second only to China," said Sen. Markey.
Kanter said the last time he saw his family was in 2015, and doesn't remember the last time he had talked to them.
He currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers.
WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports: