Enes Kanter's battle with the Turkish government also includes former NBA player Hedo Turkoglu.
Turkoglu, now a chief adviser to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a 16-year career in the NBA, was critical of the Knicks center on Monday in response to Kanter's comments that he was not flying to London with the team due to fears he could be murdered by Turkish spies.
"Kanter can't enter the UK not because of fears for life as he claims but due to passport and visa issues," the former NBA player said in a statement via Twitter. "This being the long-known truth, he is trying to get the limelight with irrational justifications and political remarks.
"Such remarks constitute another example of thep olitical smear campaign Kanter ahs been conducting against Turkey as well as his efforts to attribute importance to himself by covering up the contradictions in his sports career. .... It is obvious that this person's remarks are irrational and distort the truth."
While the Knicks have also said Kanter is not going to London due to visa issues, the 26-year-old center disputed that claim and responded to Turkoglu's remarks by calling him a "lap dog" for Erdogan and the Turkish government.
"I will put my travel document today [on social media] so the whole world [knows] I can travel," Kanter told reporters at the Knicks' morning shootaround in Portland on Monday. "It's not a visa issue."
Kanter followed through with a tweet that included a photo of the document and wrote, "I CAN go to London. Either you are delusional, or still Erdogan's lap dog...Keep wagging your tail."
This is my travel document:- Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) January 7, 2019
It's NOT a visa issue!!!
I CAN go to London.
Either you are delusional, or still Erdogan's lap dog..
Keep wagging your tail@hidoturkoglu15
@RT_Erdogan #DictatorErdogan 🇹 pic.twitter.com/UpvEG24ayu
Kanter had his passport revoked while being detained in a Romainian airport in 2017 after Turkish prosecutors wanted him jailed for insulting the president and has only traveled within North America since.
Turkoglu, who played in the NBA from 2000-2015, was teammates with Kanter on the Turkish national team but the two have not spoken to each other in four years, according to Marc Berman of The Post.
Yet Kanter said he believes his former national teammate is being forced to say these things.
"It's probably not [Turkoglu], but the president making him say it," Kanter said. "If you look at his Twitter, it's German, English and Turkish. It's three languages, and he doesn't even know German. They're probably making him do it. He's kind of like his puppy dog. Lap dog is better. He probably got so much money for that."
As for the Knicks' reasoning for saying it was a "visa issue," Kanter said they "don't understand the conversation."
"It's very confusing," he said.
The Knicks do not appear thrilled with Kanters' inflammatory remarks about the Turkish government, according to The Post, but Kanter said they should be safe in London.
"It's me," he said. "Not them."
The Knicks have also received trade interest for Kanter, who is frustrated about his diminished role on the team, but no deals appear to be imminent.