The Turkish Constitutional Court recently considered a claim
that an applicant's property rights had been violated regarding
real estate for which it held a "title allocation deed",
first obtained in 1985. The real estate was classified as a natural
protected area by Istanbul 3rd Cultural and Natural Heritage
Preservation Board. The court noted that generally, such a deed is
not considered to be a property right. However, the court held that
in these circumstances, the applicant had established a property
right due to the administration's failure to object to
long-term use of the real estate. Therefore, the Constitutional
Court held that an evacuation order, given without compensation,
violated the applicant's property rights (2013/6670; 6 October
The applicant originally initiated a lawsuit before the
Administration Court against an evacuation order made by the
General Directorate of National Real Estate. The Administrative
Court rejected the case and the rejection was later approved by the
Council of State. The case was then brought before the
Cancellation of the Title Allocation Deed:
The Constitutional Court clarified that a title allocation deed
simply certifies the subject real estate is held by such
individual; it does not impose any obligation on the administration
to grant a title deed. The court referred to a European Court of
Human Rights' ("ECHR") opinion which states that
where a title allocation deed is granted for real estate, the real
estate is deemed to be public property. The court notes that it is
established that a title deed represents a property right and can
be asserted against anyone. However, the court held that the
expectation of the title allocation deed owner with respect to a
property right is not subject to Constitutional protection.
Therefore, the court rejected the title applicant's claims due
to lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter.
Evacuation without Compensation:
The applicant had used the real estate since 1972 and paid taxes
since 1981, without any objections from the Department of Treasury.
Accordingly, in line with the ECHR precedents, the Constitutional
Court accepted that the applicant had established a property right.
The court held that demolishing the real estate and evacuating the
applicant without compensation violated the applicant's
The Constitutional Court held that failing to pay the real
estate's value or offer any compensation violated the principle
of proportionality. The court emphasized that for an interference
with property rights to be deemed proportional, the payable amount
must be adjusted for inflation.
The Constitutional Court rejected the applicant's
compensation claims. The court reasoned that the applicant is
entitled to initiate a lawsuit to obtain the real estate's
value and determining the compensation amount requires a trial.
The full text of the Constitutional Court's reasoned
decision (2013/6670, dated 10 June 2015) was published in Official
Gazette number 29479 on 18 September 2015 and can be found at this
link (only available in Turkish).
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