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Romanian minister defends keeping Kanter at airport
In this April 11, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma City Thunder's Enes Kanter, of Turkey, looks on during a break in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis. Kanter is returning to the United States after being detained in a Romanian airport. Romanian Border Police spokesman Fabian Badila confirmed to The Associated Press that the player left Romania for the United States via London. Kanter, who is from Turkey, said in a video Saturday morning, May 20, 2017, on his Twitter account that the Turkish embassy canceled his passport and he'd been detained for several hours at a Romanian airport. | AP Photo/Jim Mone, File
BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania's foreign minister says his country had no choice in detaining Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter in the capital's airport.
Teodor Melescanu said Romania could not "proceed otherwise" in comments made to news.ro. He declined to comment further.
Kanter was detained at Henri Coanda Airport on Saturday before departing to the United States via London.
Kanter, who is Turkish, said in a video Saturday on his Twitter account that the Turkish embassy canceled his passport and that he'd been detained for several hours at a Romanian airport.
Kanter said he believed he was held because of his political views. He has been a critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter supports Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who opposes Erdogan.
Melescanu spoke Sunday from the summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, taking place in Istanbul.