ECHR fines Turkey 184,000 euros in expropriation case

ECHR fines Turkey 184,000 euros in expropriation case

STRASBOURG – Hürriyet Daily News
ECHR fines Turkey 184,000 euros in expropriation case

General view of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, July 26, 2013. REUTERS photo

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) fined Turkey 184,000 euros today following a family’s complaint that they were not paid compensation for their land on which a primary school was built without a formal expropriation order in Ankara’s İncesu neighborhood.

Four people from the same family, Fidan Ayangil, Fatma Ayangil, Mehmet Ayangil and Vildan Tatlı, filed a complaint to the ECHR in the land dispute, saying their house had been left within the garden of a public school and that the state had failed to make an official expropriation and pay compensation. 

In its principal judgment on Dec. 6, 2011, the ECHR decided that there had been a violation of the protection of property. The judgment concerned the question of just satisfaction and ordered the four applicants to be paid 180,000 euros jointly in pecuniary damages, and 4,000 euros jointly in non-pecuniary damages.

“In the principal judgment, the court found that the applicants had not received any compensation for the occupation of part of their plot of land and the restriction on the use of their house, despite having brought an action for damages in the Turkish courts. Thus ... an award of compensation for the pecuniary loss in question seems to be the most appropriate just satisfaction for the applicants,” said the court’s decision.

The deputy director of the Education Directorate attached to the Ankara Governor’s Office sent a letter to the applicants’ predecessors in 1984, informing them that their building would be expropriated since the directorate was planning to build a primary school on the land on which it was situated. The directorate also said a commission would determine the value of the applicants’ building and its annexes.

The directorate built the school but did not conclude the expropriation proceedings for the applicants’ building, which remained in the schoolyard. 

The applicants’ predecessor filed a petition with the directorate requesting the return of his plot of land in 1995. On May 23, 2001, a court of first instance partially granted the applicants’ request for compensation and ordered the Ankara Governor’s Office to pay the applicants 99,976,950,917 Turkish Liras (equavelent to 104,525 euros at that time). On Dec. 24, 2001, the Court of Cassation quashed the judgment on the basis that the authorities had not prevented the complainants to continue living in the building.