Debates on property rights grow after the urban transformation law

Debates on property rights grow after the urban transformation law

The bill, known publicly as the urban transformation law, was approved last night in the Turkish Grand National Assembly. However, the articles of the law, which aim to accelerate the transformation of risk zones, in relation to reserve zones, sparked criticism as “violations of property rights.”

The focus of criticism is that residential areas can be declared reserve areas without the consent of homeowners, and that homeowners in places designated as reserve areas can be given homes in lower-value areas instead of their old houses.

The law also provides that urban transformation works, which previously required the consent of two-thirds of the owners, can now begin when a majority of more than 50 percent is reached.


The bill on the amendment of the Law on the Transformation of Disaster Risk Areas, some laws and Decree Law No. 375 was approved last night in the General Assembly of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

The law aims to speed up judicial processes related to damages in places that are considered disaster areas affecting general life due to the earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş that occurred on February 6, 2023.

Adil Karaismailoğlu, Chairman of the Public Works, Reconstruction, Transport and Tourism Commission of GNAT, said in his statement to Anadolu Agency: “Urban transformation will accelerate much further throughout Turkey with the help of the Directorate of Urban Transformation. “We provide important solutions to the problems we experience during urban transformation,” he said, adding:


“We had many problems with the evacuation of buildings after the detection of dangerous buildings, which will be eliminated with this law. There were difficulties in reaching the owners and heirs, there are important rules regarding notification, it will be accelerated. “Owners of buildings undergoing urban transformation will receive financial support such as the ‘Half on us’ campaign and financial advantages such as long-term loans.”

Karaismailoğlu stated that urban transformation processes will be accelerated with the law and noted that judicial processes, which can last up to 750 days, can be completed in 160 days with this law.

However, the “reservation zone” regulation, which sparked public debate before the proposal became law, remains the focus of criticism after the law was accepted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

While the definition of “reserve structure area” was modified within the scope of the law; The phrase “as a new settlement area” was removed from the definition. In the justification of this rule it was stated that in the cases presented in practice it was judged that for any property to be determined as a buildable reserve area, it must be outside the residential areas, and that the objective was to make it possible for the plots located in residential areas are determined as a building reserve zone.

However, according to critics, this regulation carries the risk of violating property rights.

Consequently, the ministry can declare any place it wants as a reserve zone, and existing buildings can be included in the reserve zone without consulting the owners. Homeowners in places included in the reservation area will be able to receive housing from other places.


In his assessment to Reuters, Nusret Suna, second president of the TMMOB Chamber of Civil Engineers, said: “These studies must be carried out to transform our cities into resilient cities. “But as far as we know, property rights are ignored here,” he said, adding:

“It is true that it is a step that will shorten the process, but everyone has constitutional rights. It is unfair to ignore them. Equitable solutions need to be found. You ignore the right to property, you have the right to expropriate wherever you want. This means your property is being taken away. “It’s very difficult to look for something called equity here.”

Noting that handing over a house from another region to owners in places included in the reservation area may cause loss of rights, Suna said: “Of course, our cities must be transformed into disaster-resistant cities. But these must be done correctly. We have experienced examples of this in recent years. Places without risk areas were declared risk areas because they were valuable, but were later opened to development. “Now the government is passing this law saying it will ‘speed up procedures’, but the right to property should not be ignored here,” he said.

Suna stated that although the law was accepted in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the relevant part should be reviewed again.


On the other hand, within the scope of the law approved by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Urban Transformation Directorate under the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change was established to carry out processes related to urban transformation; The detection of risky buildings may be carried out ex officio by the Urban Transformation Directorate or the administration.

As some owners or tenants are seen to be effectively prevented from detecting dangerous buildings and are not permitted to take samples for detection from their own independent units, it will be possible to detect dangerous buildings by opening locked doors or areas with appropriate law enforcement . if necessary, based on the written permission granted by the civil administrator.

For natural or legal persons under private law to request that the properties they own be designated as construction reserve areas; It will be necessary to consent to the transfer of ownership of 30 percent of the square meters of land of these properties for construction, or deliver the value of the same amount to the Directorate of Urban Transformation so that it is registered as income in the special account for transformation projects. .

The duties and powers granted to the Ministry with respect to restricting development and construction rights in the areas and suspending services such as electricity, water and natural gas provided to buildings in the area during the implementation period will be used by the Directorate of Urban Transformation .

The law also made provisions to ensure that external financing opportunities are provided to the Presidency’s Urban Transformation Directorate in accordance with the purpose of the loan agreement.

Although the Directorate of Urban Transformation was organized as a special budget administration, an agreement was reached so that the loan financed by the World Bank would continue to be allocated to the Directorate of Urban Transformation. (REUTERS)

Source: Sozcu


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