Owens Hosts Special Order on Enes Freedom and Human Rights Abuses in Turkey

Apr 26, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) convened a group of colleagues on the House floor to recognize former NBA star Enes Freedom and his fight for human rights in Turkey and Communist China. In his remarks, Rep. Owens called out the Biden administration for refusing to meet with Enes Freedom and urged the White House to take decisive actions against authoritarian regimes.

“I rise today to express my grave concerns regarding the human rights abuses discussed tonight. Once a thriving democracy, the two-decades-long ruthless regime of Erdogan has made Turkey notorious for human rights abuses. 

“For over a decade, former NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom has used his platform to speak up for the voiceless suffering under tyranny in Turkey and Communist China. Turkey’s oppressive behavior does not end with Enes. Journalists, human rights activists, and protesters are jailed without trial and labeled terrorists without evidence.

“Turkey is ranked 4th globally for arresting journalists critical of the government. 

The Turkish president has also weaponized the judiciary system to target opposition parties. Two years ago, the Constitutional Court of Turkey shut down the second-largest political party.

“Women’s rights are under threat in Turkey as well. The Turkish government withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty to tackle gender-based violence.

In anticipation of a formidable challenge in the upcoming general elections in Turkey, the regime is intimidating rival parties, voters, and the press to sway the election results in the government’s favor.

“The Biden administration and other NATO allies must condemn these heinous actions of Turkey’s regime. Unfortunately once again President Bidern is a laggard when it comes to the protection of basic human rights and freedom. 

“Though an American citizen, Turkey put a $500k bounty on Enes for calling out the abuse of power in Turkey. 

“President Biden has repeatedly refused to meet with our fellow American citizens. 

He has also ignored an official request from my fellow Republican colleagues to do so. 

“The Biden administration has failed to protect one of the fundamental rights of every American — freedom of speech.

“When Enes criticized the Chinese Communist Party for its brutality against its people, NBA abruptly ended his career.

“As the Corporatist Sports Complex, NBA, NFL, and NIKE,  proudly promoted the anti-flag and anti-American BLM Marxist movement, Enes Freedom was speaking out about real Human Rights abuses being perpetrated by China’s CCP.

“His voice exposed the Corporatist Sports Complex hypocrisy as they chose to turned a blind eye to the misery their business model had created for Chinese people. Enes’s criticism culminated in the CCP’s demands that he be canceled. The CCP’s cancellation of the NBA’s China NBA’s TV coverage drove home the consequences of not bowing to their demands. Once the NBA acted to terminate the 11 year All-star’s career, the CCP allowed NBA games to once again be aired in the Chinese market. 

“The NBA, NFL, NIKE decades old partnership with the Chinese CCP has created a culture within the  Corportist Sports Complex that can best be summarized by “Profit over American Patriotism” and Profit over the Chinese People” 

“It is a Culture that has granted credibility to the communist China regime. A regime that has an internment of over one million Muslim Uyghurs.

“It is a culture that promoted BLM rhetoric of America’s systematic  racism as the Global Corportist in real-time profits in billions from slavery in China. This Sports Complex has discovered the financial benefits of the 1800 slave trade that given scale human slavery is the cheapest and this most profitable labor on planet earth. 

“The NBA, NFL and NIKE culture of greed “Profit over Patriotism” and “Profits over the Chinese people” has justified them closing their eyes to the  genocide of the Muslim Uyghur. it confirms that child labor/trafficking and organ harvesting from healthy Muslim Uyghurs is OK as long as it is out of sight and out of their mind

“What the voice and action of Enes Freedom did was show the hypocrisy of their virtue signaling. As they handed out slogans to players  on their jersey to support Black Lives Matter,” he was wearing shoes that highlighted the atrocities of slavery in China where NIKE shoes are manufactured. 

“On a side note and a personal one, where are the activist voices of the Corportist Sports Complex as throughout our country hopeless black youth,  callously kill each other by the thousands. Where are their BLM slogans and messages on the sidelines as in every urban city  and our education system betrays our “at risk” children by the millions. Where is the presence and voice of the sports complex whose very survival depends  on 70-80% of Black talent.  So no my Friends.. The Corportist Sport Complex of NFL, NBA and NIKE could care less about  Black Lives, Muslim lives, Asian lives, White lives.

“For them it is indeed Profit that Matters if turning their backs on their loyal fans and betraying the values that has made us the greatest country in the history of mankind … so be it. Profit over Patriotism. 

“One of the values that the Republican Conference holds dear and will make clear… loyalty to our fellow countrymen and women.  Turkey remove your bounty off Enes Freedom and any other American citizens. If not, there will be legislative action from this body. We Promise!

“We call on the Turkish government to release all political prisoners and cease its persecution of the Hizmet movement and its members. We expect a NATO ally to respect free speech and assembly, and to uphold its international obligations to protect human rights.

“Let us not be the generation that history looks back on as one of moral indifference.

“Let us not be the generation that will be compared to the 1800 pre-civil war era when industries flourished from the demands of cotton and as they betrayed their commitment to our human rights, life, and pursuit of happiness.

“Enes Kanter Freedom has shown the bold courage, tenacity, and empathy that defines our American Way. 

“For the millions who depend on the American resolve to remain the shiny city on the hill, we are committed to freedom and liberty in every corner of the world. 

“Thank you and I yield back.”

Watch the full Special Order remarks here


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