AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF
by Şinasi SÖKMEN
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 30 June 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Ireneu Cabral Barreto,
Işıl Karakaş, judges,
and Sally Dollé, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 30 December 2004,
Having regard to the partial decision of 10 June 2008,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicant,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Şinasi Sökmen, is a Turkish national who was born in 1949 and lives in Adana. He was represented before the Court by Mr İ. Gül, a lawyer practising in Ankara. The Turkish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 23 February 1993 the General Directorate of National Roads and Highways decided to expropriate the applicant’s land in Gölbaşı, Ankara. The applicant brought an action in the Gölbaşı Civil Court on 20 December 2001, seeking increased compensation.
On 7 April 2004 the Gölbaşı Civil Court awarded the applicant 891,192,000 Turkish liras (TRL)1 by way of additional compensation, plus interest at the statutory rate. Both parties appealed. In the meantime the applicant initiated execution proceedings through the Ankara Enforcement Office on 1 July 2004. The Court of Cassation upheld the first-instance court’s decision on 14 September 2004.
The authorities paid a total of 3,565.072 new Turkish liras (TRY) to the Enforcement Office on 5 May 2005. The applicant withdrew the payment on 15 February 2006.
The applicant alleged that the failure of the authorities to comply with the domestic court judgment constituted a breach of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.
The applicant further complained that the rate of interest for delay payable on the additional compensation for expropriation had been too low and that the expropriating authority had delayed settling the relevant amounts. He maintained that he had been the victim of a breach of Article 6 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.
The Government argued that the application was inadmissible because the applicant was no longer a victim, the judgment had been enforced in full and the time taken for enforcement had been reasonable.
The applicant claimed, for his part, that he had not been informed of the payment promptly, as a result of which he had not been able to withdraw the amount until 15 February 2006.
The Court observes that the Gölbaşı Civil Court’s judgment of 7 April 2004 became final on 14 September 2004 and was fully enforced on 5 May 2005. The time taken by the authorities to enforce the judgment was some seven months.
However, the Court finds that the applicant, who initiated enforcement proceedings some two months after the delivery of the judgment and lodged his application with the Court about three months after the judgment became final, allowed approximately eighteen months to pass after initiating the enforcement proceedings, and before seeking information about the payment. Having regard also to the fact that he had legal representation during the enforcement proceedings, the applicant and his representative cannot be considered to have followed the enforcement proceedings with due diligence in order to keep themselves informed of the date on which the payment was made.
Against this background, the Court is satisfied that the period of some seven months taken by the authorities to enforce the judgment in the present case does not in itself appear unreasonable.
Furthermore the Court finds that, using the same method of calculation as in the case of Aka v. Turkey (23 September 1998, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1998 VI), and having regard to the relevant economic data at the material time, on the date of the payment the full amount of compensation should have been TRY 1,520.371. However, the applicant received TRY 3,565.07, which exceeded the full amount by 134%. In these circumstances, the Court observes that the interest paid on the additional compensation was sufficient to compensate the applicant for any financial loss and the applicant did not suffer any damage in respect of the amount of compensation awarded to him by the Gölbaşı Civil Court.
It follows that the application is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected pursuant to Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Declares the remainder of the application inadmissible.
Sally Dollé Françoise Tulkens
1. Approximately 557 euros (EUR) at the material time.
2. On 1 January 2005 the new Turkish lira (TRY) entered into circulation, replacing the former Turkish lira (TRL). TRY 1 = TRL 1,000,000. The sum above was therefore equivalent to TRL 3,565,070,000 and approximately EUR 2,048 at the material time.
1. Approximately EUR 894 at the material time.