Construction of presidential palace unlawful: Turkey's top court
ANKARATurkey’s Council of State has annulled the decisions which had permitted the construction of the controversial presidential palace of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in an area called Atatürk Forest Farm (AOÇ) in the Beştepe neighborhood of the capital Ankara, saying the construction was “unlawful” and the AOÇ was public property with “special status.”
The Council of State Plenary Session of the Administrative Law Chamber annulled the decisions separately made on Jan. 16, 2012, by the Turkish Cabinet of Ministers and the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Assembly, which provided the legal ground for the construction of Erdoğan’s presidential palace in the AOÇ, a once natural site which had been protected decades.
It stated the decisions did not abide by the law, since giving the AOÇ the status of “an area open to urban transformation and development” was a local as well as limited solution with respect to the integrity of planning and practice over farmlands.
The top court’s move came less than two months after the Ankara Chamber of Architects said on May 26 in a written statement Erdoğan’s 1,150-room mega-palace was illegally constructed on protected land, citing a previous ruling by the Council of State which annulled a decision allowing the construction of public buildings on preserved sites.
The Chamber of Architects said in a statement on May 26 the ruling had “once again revealed that the construction of the palace was illegal.”
“The construction plans, the Protection Board’s decisions and the construction licenses which allowed the illegal construction are completely unlawful at the moment after this verdict. All the unlawful decisions and documents which allowed the unlawful construction in the AOÇ have lost their legal ground,” it said.