Oklahoma City Thunder’s Enes Kanter posted this picture to Twitter upon his return to the United States over the weekend. Photo courtesy Enes Kanter/Twitter
center Enes Kanter, who was detained in Romania over the weekend after his passport was revoked said he wants to become an American citizen.
The United States "is my home now," he said Monday.
Kanter has been an outspoken critic of Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter said Turkey canceled his passport in retaliation for his political views.
Kanter also said he is receiving death threats "every day" on social media, including two on Monday.
Kanter, who returned to the United States on Sunday, called his whirlwind trip "one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever had" in a conference call with the media Monday morning.
Kanter previously called the Turkish president "the Hitler of our century" in a video he posted on Twitter while being detained in Romania on Saturday.
Kanger said Monday that Erdogan and the Turkish government have tried to silence anyone who speaks out against their power.
Erdogan, who met with President Trump last week at the White House, has declared a new state of emergency in Turkey — arresting 120 journalists, closing more than 150 news outlets and jailing 140,000 people, according to news reports.
Kanter said he was "shocked" Erdogan was in Washington D.C. While there, Erdogan’s bodyguards were captured on video attacking protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s home on Embassy Row.
"He’s a terrible man," Kanter said Monday. "I hope the world does something about it. … I hope the whole world is watching. Once these people get to jail, it’s not over for them.
"People are getting kidnapped, murdered, tortured, and raped. I love my country, but I’m just trying to speak up for innocent people. … There are thousands of people out there with situations worse than mine."
Kanter said his family’s life in Turkey is in danger and he can’t communicate with them.
"If they contact me, they’ll be put in jail," Kanter said. "The jails are not fun."
Appearing on "CBS This Morning" on Monday, Kanter described his road back to the U.S..
Kanter said the trouble began in Indonesia when his manager knocked at his door and said Secret Service and the Indonesian army were looking for him because the Turkish government had called him a "dangerous man."
"I was sleeping around 2:30 or something and my manager knocked on my door," Kanter said on the CBS show. "He said the Secret Service and the Indonesian army were looking for me because the Turkish government told them I was a dangerous man.
"We didn’t know what we had to do. We escaped the country and went to Singapore, then we came to Romania."
The 6-foot-11, 245-pound Kanter averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 72 games this season for the Thunder. He was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz before getting traded to the Thunder in February 2015.