US senator seeks safe passage for Blazers star Enes Kanter

Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter hangs on the net before the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/John Leyba)

SALEM, Ore. — U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden wants to ensure Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, a Turkish star whom Turkey wants arrested for his criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will be able to safely travel to Canada for a possible NBA championship series against the Toronto Raptors

The Oregon senator wrote Tuesday to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking that his government facilitate Kanter's safe passage to and from Canada if the Blazers advance to the title series.

The Blazers opened their semifinal series against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. The Raptors face the Milwaukee Bucks in the other semifinal series. The finals begin May 30.

Turkish officials have sought a "red notice" — an international wanted notice — for Kanter through Interpol. Kanter's Turkish passport was canceled in 2017.

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