12 September 2018 Wednesday

Ali Rıza Akarsu (no. 2015/6999, 12 September 2018)

The Facts

The applicant applied to the Security Directorate for registration of the vehicle that he had purchased at the auction performed by the tax office.

The Security Directorate informed the applicant that there was an interim injunction on the vehicle and therefore it cannot be registered. The action for annulment brought by the applicant before the administrative court was accepted, and the vehicle was registered in the name of the applicant.

The applicant this time sought compensation from the administration for the damage he had sustained due to the registration of the vehicle approximately 1 year later. Having received no response to his request, the applicant brought an action for compensation against the Governor’s Office before the administrative court.

The administrative court dismissed the applicant’s case. Upon the applicant’s appeal, the Council of State upheld the decision. The applicant’s subsequent request for rectification of the decision was also dismissed by the relevant chamber of the Council of State.

The Applicant’s Allegations

The applicant maintained that his right to property was violated on account of his inability to use his car for one year due to the unlawful act of the administration.

The Court’s Assessment

The right to property safeguarded by Article 35 of the Constitution provides the individual with the opportunity to use and benefit from his property as he wishes, on condition that he does not prejudice the rights of the others and complies with the restrictions stipulated in the law.

In the present case, the failure to register the vehicle purchased by the applicant in a tender process conducted by the administration was found unlawful by the inferior court.

In accordance with this decision, the subsequent registration of the vehicle did not alone remove the victim status of the applicant. In order for the applicant’s victim status to have been removed, the alleged violation should have been redressed promptly and taking into account the period during which the applicant had been unable to enjoy his right.

The applicant had been unable to use his vehicle during approximately one year from the date of his request for registration until the registration process, due to the unlawful administrative act.

It is clear that the applicant, who was a driver engaging in international transport, had purchased the vehicle by trusting the administration, that the vehicle was important for his professional and commercial activities and had an economic value, and that he was unable to use it due to the fault of the administration and therefore was deprived of any profit.

Despite the finding of a damage, existence of strict circumstances in terms of proving the amount of the compensation resulted in a failure to redress the alleged damage.

As a result, it was found that the failure to register the vehicle purchased by the applicant for approximately one year caused an interference with his right to property and that the damage sustained by him as a result of the alleged interference was not redressed.

Under these circumstances, regard also being had to fact that no compensation was paid to the applicant, an excessive burden was imposed on him due to the alleged interference; the fair balance between the public interest and the protection of the right to property was disturbed to the detriment of the applicant; and the alleged interference was disproportionate.

Consequently, the Constitutional Court found a violation of the applicant’s right to property safeguarded by Article 35 of the Constitution.