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Law on Expropriation

April 2015 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Baspinar & Partners Law Firm.

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The main legislation related to the expropriation is the Law on Expropriation numbered 2942 and dated 04.11.1983. ("LoE") In order to conduct the public services the administrations can expropriate the real estates, resources and easement rights provided that their values are paid in cash or installments.

The procedure of the expropriation is explained in the LoE in detail but in this article we will mainly talk about the lawsuits about value determination. The basic principle under the Turkish expropriation regime is settlement; the parties are encouraged to negotiate a settlement for the expropriation value.

What happens when the parties cannot reach a settlement?

In case the parties cannot reach a settlement about the value, the administration shall apply to the court of first instance where the real estate is located and shall request for the determination of the expropriation value and registration of such real estate in the name of the administration provided that the expropriation price determined by the court is paid in cash or in installments.

What is the procedure to be followed at the court?

First of all, the court summons the owner of the property by notifying the date of hearing, which shall be set within thirty days after the date of application of the administration, by attaching the petition and one copy from each of the document given by the administration.

The judge shall invite the parties to reach an agreement on the expropriation value at the hearing to be held. In case the parties reach an agreement regarding the value, the judge shall accept the value agreed between the parties as the expropriation value and follow the procedure stated in the LoE.

In case the parties fail to reach a settlement on value at the hearing, the judge shall set a discovery date to physically see the property for determination of the expropriation value within ten days and a date of hearing within thirty days thereafter and obtain a expert report from the expert committee appointed according to the LoE.

The experts shall submit their reports to the court within 15 days after the discovery. The court shall send this report to the parties without waiting for the hearing. The judge of the court shall invite the parties and their representatives and the experts to the hearing. In such hearings the objections of the parties – if any- to the expert reports and the statements of the experts against such objections shall be heard.

If the parties cannot reach an agreement after the expert report, the court at its own discretion may appoint new experts or gives a decision based on the existing expert report. If the judge appoints new experts, s/he grants 15 days to them to submit their report. Eventually the judge sets a just and fair expropriation price based on the report or reports of the experts and the statements.

After the determination of the price the judge grants 15 days to the Administration to pay the amount agreed between the parties or set by the court as the expropriation price. The court orders the registration of the real estate in the name of the administration and the payment of the value to the owner, upon the submittal of the receipt by the administration indicating that the amount is deposited in the name of the owner or blocked in the bank account to be given to the owner. This decision shall be notified to the title deed office and the related bank. The order of such registration is final but the parties can appeal the order only in terms of the expropriation price.

In case the order is not given within 4 months after the case is filed, interest will be charged onto the expropriation price starting from the end of the 4 months.

Is there any way to prevent the expropriation?

In case the conditions are met, people can file a case against the administrations for the cancellation of administrations' decisions and actions before the administrative court. Since the expropriation decision is an administrative action, the owner of the real estate can file a case in order the expropriation decision to be cancelled.

There are five elements to be found in administrative actions: authorization, method, ground, subject and purpose. In case there is invalidity in any of these five elements, the court shall cancel the decision. For instance, in case an unauthorized officer gives the expropriation decision or the procedure stated in the LoE is not followed, the decision would be invalid in terms of authorization and method.

The owner can file a case within 30 days after the notification related to the value determination case and if the administrative court orders the suspension of execution, the court determining the expropriation value shall first wait the final decision of the administrative court.

When should the ex-owner or the renter evacuate the real estate?

The administration shall ask the execution officer to evacuate the expropriated real estate, which is registered in the name of the administration at the title deed office. The execution officer shall give notice to the users of the real estate to evacuate it within fifteen days after the notification. Should the property is not evacuated within this period; it shall be under the responsibility of the Execution office to evacuate the property. The objections and complaints to the Execution Office do not impede the evacuation.

The owner of property and the administration shall not be liable for the payment of any indemnity due to evacuation of the real estate