Turkey's top court partly annuls expropriation law, upholds alcohol restrictions
Villagers in the Aegean town of Yırca, where an energy company cut down 6,000 olive trees for a thermal power plant construction last week, harvested the olives of the felled trees for the last time on Nov. 14. The incident sparked debate about expropriation practices in Turkey.Turkey's Constitutional Court has issued rulings on two key cases, partly annulling a controversial expropriation law, while upholding the latest restrictions on alcoholic drinks.
The top court ruled Nov. 14 that the recent amendments to the Expropriation Law violate the civil rights protected under Turkey's Constitution. A key article of the law stipulates that citizens whose properties are expropriated are not eligible to sue the administration or demand higher compensations through lawsuits.
The court also ruled that the annulment will take effect six months after it is published in the Official Gazette.
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) had also made a plea regarding the recent amendments to the Alcohol Law led by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), but the top court dismissed this case.
The Constitutional Court ruled that the law does not violate any civil right by stipulating that alcolic drinks cannot be sold at educational institutions, including universities, and "alcoholic drinks cannot be portrayed on television in encouraging ways."
Turkey has recently seen the expropriation of large amounts of land for use by energy companies with the help of the government, regardless of its value to the environment or local history.
The most recent crisis was seen in the Aegean town of Yırca, where an energy company with close links to the government cut down 6,000 olive trees for a thermal power plant construction last week.
A Council of State ruling to halt the controversial expropriation in Yırca was announced hours after the company cut down the trees.