Green Party Of US Demands Release Of Eylem Tuncaelli And Naci Sönmez

Above Photo: From

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Green Party of the United States has joined Green Parties throughout the world in demanding the immediate release of Eylem Tuncaelli and Naci Sönmez (pictured above), co-chairs of the Turkish Green Left Party (Yeşil Sol Parti), after special forces raided their homes in Istanbul on Feb. 9.

U.S. Greens are calling on the U.S. State Department to press President Erdoğan’s government to end the arbitrary detention of Ms. Tuncaelli and Mr. Sönmez, who were taken into custody without formal charges.

Green Party of the United States

For Immediate Release:
Friday, February 16, 2018

Scott McLarty, Green Party Media Director, 202-904-7614,

European Greens published a statement calling for their release on February 9.

Since his election in 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration has shown increased contempt for human rights and freedom of the press, with crackdowns on political opponents, arrests of journalists, and purges of the judiciary and the civil service targeting those who object to his autocratic rule.

Irregularities were widely suspected in an April 2017 referendum vote that handed President Erdoğan sweeping new powers. While the European Union urged an investigation, President Trump congratulated Mr. Erdoğan on the outcome.

Greens in the U.S. expressed concerns over Mr. Trump’s admiration of President Erdoğan but hoped that the State Department would act quickly to secure the Turkish Green leaders’ release.

Formerly called the Greens and the Left Party of the Future, the Green Left Party is a left-libertarian and green party in Turkey. The party has formally acknowledged the Armenian Genocide.

The Green Left Party is a candidate member and the Green Party of the United States is a full member of Global Greens, the worldwide network of Green parties and political movements.

Turkish Green co-chairs Eylem Tuncaelli and Naci Sönmez are released

The co-chairs of the Turkish Greens and the Left Party of the Future (Yesiller ve Sol Gelecek Partisi) Eylem Tuncaelli and Naci Sönmez were released on Saturday morning at 5am after having been held in custody for just over one week.  They have been charged with supporting terrorism as well as signing a press release calling for peace and criticising Turkey’s military action in Afrin, Syria.  They are banned from leaving the country and will be placed on parole.  The announcement came amid a series of verdicts by Turkish authorities, including the release of journalist Deniz Yücel, who had been held for over one year in a Turkish jail.

Commenting on their release, European Green Party co-chairs Monica Frassoni and Reinhard Bütikofer, as well as the co-president of Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament Philippe Lamberts said :

“We are delighted to hear that Eylem Tuncaelli and Naci Sönmez have finally been released after being held in custody for one week without any formal charges.  We hope they are now resting in the company of friends and family.  However, the charges against them are baseless and completely nonsensical. Both Eylem and Naci support peace in Turkey and neighboring Syria as do the vast majority of Turkish citizens and people around the world. Placing them on parole and banning them from leaving the country is completely inappropriate and disproportionate.  We also remember the 6 journalists who have been sentenced to life in prison.  Trying to crush every dissenting voice is ultimately counterproductive for the security of the Turkish people and the country’s economic stability.  We demand the Turkish authorities guarantee the release of those still being held. We will continue to relentlessly campaign for their release. Europe cannot remain silent in the face of such a violation of the freedom of speech.  We must do everything in our power to show that this cannot and will not be tolerated.”