Top court rules lengthy interim injunction violated citizen’s right to property

The Constitutional Court of Turkey

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that a citizen’s right to own or inherit property was violated due to a lengthy interim injunction on his personal assets, Turkish Minute reported, citing a press release posted on the court’s website on Wednesday.

The Second Chamber of the Constitutional Court heard the individual application filed by Bülent Akbacı on April 4 claiming that his right to own property, enshrined by Article 35 of the Constitution, had been violated by interim injunctions imposed on his personal assets by a local court in 2006 and 2007 in connection with an inheritance dispute.

The local court lifted the injunction on the applicant’s bank accounts in 2014, but the injunctions on his immovable property were still in place at the time of the review, the press release said.

Citing previous decisions, the Constitutional Court acknowledged the vast discretion enjoyed by public authorities to introduce measures to secure the payment of a potential debt as well as to limit the way the debtor may lawfully dispose of his/her property.

“However, the court stressed that the implementation of such measures should not task the property owner with more than what would be inevitable. Accordingly, public authorities are required to take into consideration the effects of the measure in question on the right to property of the applicant and refrain from engaging in a disproportionate intervention,” the press release said.

The court drew attention to the responsibility of public authorities to act swiftly and assiduously while implementing the measures affecting the right to property, failing which it indicated that “the continuation of the measure for an unreasonable period would task the property owner in a disproportionate manner by deferring the enjoyment of the right of property in an undefined manner.”

Concluding that the period during which the injunction that limited the applicant’s right to property was kept in place was not reasonable, the court held that the measure in question introduced an excessive burden on the applicant, violating his right to property.

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