Rejection of request for return of property violated church foundation’s rights: Turkey’s top court

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of the Hasköy Aya Paraskevi Church Foundation and said the General Directorate of Foundations’ rejection of its request for the return of property constituted a rights violation, Turkish Minute reported, citing the state-run Anadolu news agency.

According to the ruling on Tuesday published in the Official Gazette, the foundation benefited from the temporary Article 7 of Law No. 5737 on Foundations, which entered into force in 2008 and allowed them to request the return of their property in İstanbul.

Although the foundation submitted documents showing that the property was originally registered with the 1936 declaration and under different names over the years, the General Directorate of Foundations didn’t accept them as proof of ownership and rejected the request.

The foundation submitted an individual application to the top court after the İstanbul 10th Administrative Court rejected the lawsuit they filed against the directorate and the Council of State rejected their request for appeal, Anadolu said.

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday said the foundation’s right to property, guaranteed in Article 35 of the Constitution, had been violated, ordering the case to be reheard to eliminate the consequences of the violation.

The top court gave a similar ruling for the Sanasaryan Inn, one of the oldest Armenian buildings in İstanbul, last month. The inn, which was confiscated by the Turkish state in 1930, is expected to be returned to an Armenian foundation 92 years later upon the decision.

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