NBA's Enes Kanter Rips Ilhan Omar, Says She Appears To Be 'On Dictator Erdogan's Payroll'


On Tuesday, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter ripped Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who that same day had voted against a bill that imposes sanctions on Turkey for invading northern Syria.

The bill in question, House Resolution 4695, passed with the support of 403 members of Congress. Just one Democrat voted against it, according to the New York Post — Omar.

This irritated Kanter, a Turkish native and frequent critic of the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Kanter has previously declined to travel out of the U.S. for fear of being assassinated.

In a Tuesday tweet, Kanter suggested that Omar could be on Erdogan’s “payroll.”

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“What an absolute disappointment and shame that the only democrat who did NOT support the Turkish bill aiming to stop the killing of innocent people is @IlhanMN who seems like on #DictatorErdogan ‘s payroll working for his interests, but not for the American people and democracy!” Kanter tweeted.

Omar took to the pages of The Washington Post earlier this month to explain why she thinks imposing sanctions is part of the “same failed playbook” of U.S. foreign policy.

Do you think Kanter was right to criticize Omar?

“In so much of our foreign policy, we rely on muscle memory and a limited toolbox to decide the best course of action,” Omar wrote in her Op-Ed. “And, too often, sanctions regimes are ill considered, incoherent and counterproductive.

“Research has shown that sanctions rarely achieve their desired goals. In the worst-case scenario, they hurt the people of a country — generally the very people we’re purporting to help — without making a dent in the country’s behavior. And in the case of human rights abusers, research suggests that more abuses typically occur with economic sanctions in place than without them.”

Omar also came under fire Tuesday for voting “present” on a bill recognizing the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1923.

The freshman congresswoman claimed in a statement to CNN that “accountability for human rights violations—especially ethnic cleansing and genocide—is paramount.”

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She added, however, that “accountability and recognition of genocide should not be used as cudgel in a political fight. It should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics.”

Notably, the House bill recognizing the Armenian genocide was condemned by the Turkish government.

“The resolution which has apparently been drafted and issued for domestic consumption is devoid of any historical or legal basis,” Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

“Undoubtedly, this resolution will negatively affect the image of the U.S. before the public opinion of Turkey as it also brings the dignity of the U.S. House of Representatives into disrepute.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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