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The Constitutional Court Decided on a Takeover
The Constitutional Court decided on a takeover, published in the Official Gazette dated 03.02.2023.
The summary of the decision is as follows: the Administration, to the applicant who requested that the price determined by the court decision determining the expropriation price be paid after 26 years; stating that court decisions should be used within ten years, they objected to the 10-year statute of limitations and did not pay this price.
The Constitutional Court Decided That the Expropriation Price Requested After 26 Years Will Not be Timed Out.
The slum, which is understood to be in the use of the applicant (although it is not understood whether they are the owner since the title deed record is not seen in the decision, it is stated that the applicant has been using this immovable for more than eight years); in 1974, the Military Academy was expropriated as it remained within the expansion area.
In 1975, the applicant filed a lawsuit against the Administration at the 7th Civil Court of First Instance in Ankara to increase the expropriation price. It was decided that the expropriation cost was 37.014,00 TL. The Administration deposited this amount in a bank account in the applicant’s name. However, later, the applicant needed help to collect the price due to the abandonment of the expropriation.
After approximately seven years, the slum was demolished in 1982 at the request of the Administration. In 1982, the applicant filed a lawsuit at the Ankara 12th Civil Court of First Instance for the compensation of the slums and trees. With its decision five years after the lawsuit was filed, the court determined the compensation amount as 400.000 TL and decided to complete the 37.014,00 TL in the account.
About 26 years later, in 2014, the applicant asked the Administration to comply with the terms of this court order and pay the specified sum plus legal interest. According to the Administration’s interpretation of article 156 of the Turkish Code of Obligations, “The new term is always ten years if the debt has been acknowledged with a promissory note or a court or arbitral award.” And replied that no further action is necessary at this time because a 10-year period has passed since the decision was finalized in accordance with the regulation in the form of a statement.
In 2016, the applicant initiated criminal proceedings through the enforcement office. The Administration, which could not suspend the proceedings with an objection since the proceeding was based on the court decision, applied to the Enforcement Law Court through a complaint and stated that the claimant’s right to claim the credit item indicated as the basis for the proceedings in question was time-barred.
The applicant made an individual application to the Constitutional Court in 2019. The Administration interfered with the applicant’s property rights without abiding by the Constitutional and legal protections against expropriation, and the court’s compensation award to make up for this violation was never paid. The applicant also failed to comply with the court’s request for payment due to the statute of limitations, according to the Constitutional Court, which cited article 156 of the Turkish Code of Obligations.
However, this regulation would be applied in disputes arising from the debt relationship between private persons and, in the concrete case, public authorities (public legal entities) equipped with superior public power authorities.
It is stated that the public legal entity’s refusal to pay its debts tied to a court decision on the grounds of statute of limitations is not acceptable, that failure to fulfill the obligation to pay the compensation ordered by the court is a serious violation of article 35 of the Constitution, which regulates the property right, as well as article 138 of the Constitution, and that the Administration violates the Constitutional obligations severely. The fact that the right to delay the payment of compensation is derived from the act of delaying the payment of compensation cannot be compatible with the principle of “State of Law”, that the obligation of the Administration to execute the court decision will not cease after a certain period.
As a result, in the present case, the failure to pay the compensation awarded by the court to the applicant on the grounds of the statute of limitations in return for the damage caused by confiscation without expropriation is incompatible with article 35 of the Constitution. It has decided to send this decision to the Enforcement Civil Court for a retrial to remedy the violation.
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