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Man Without a Country: Enes Kanter Fights for Justice

Posted by UWSPcps - October 27, 2020 - Academics, Education, Faculty & Staff, Featured

Enes Kanter, a Turkish member of the Boston Celtics, joined University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point School of Education Prof. Uzeyir Ogurlu for a discussion in his ED 205 – Pluralism for Educators course about diversity in professional sports and Kanter’s struggle with his native country on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Born in Switzerland of Turkish origin, Kanter was drafted by the Utah Jazz in 2011 and has played for the Celtics since 2019. He was indicted by Turkey in 2018 on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist group, which he denies. He is awaiting U.S. citizenship.

A native of Turkey, Prof. Ogurlu has also been exiled from his native country, where his family still resides. He hopes to help his students learn from the experiences of others.

“People like Enes Kanter are facing unimaginable cruelty in the country just because of their different ideas from the ruling party,” said Prof. Ogurlu. “By attending, students and community members could understand the importance of freedom of speech in this country and how it would feel being apart from your own country just because of different ideas.”

Kanter shared motivation for future teachers. “To all the teachers, you make such an impact on your students’ lives,” said Kanter. “Don’t underestimate that. Every word you say and every deed you do, can serve as an example for your students. Your smallest act can make the biggest impact.”

The “Man Without a Country: NBA Player Enes Kanter Fights for Justice” virtual presentation drew more than 350 attendees worldwide, from Stevens Point and Boston to Brazil and Germany.

Kanter also had advice for those who might be afraid to stand up and speak out. “I saw how many lives it impacts. Don’t be scared because it is for the truth and for good.”

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