Application no. 46562/99
by Fikret ODABAŞI and Others2
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 5 July 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr R. Türmen,
Mr K. Traja,
Mr S. Pavlovschi,
Mr L. Garlicki,
Ms L. Mijović, judges,
and Mr M. O’Boyle, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged with the European Commission of Human Rights on 15 September 1998,
Having regard to Article 5 § 2 of Protocol No. 11 to the Convention, by which the competence to examine the application was transferred to the Court,
Having regard to the Court’s partial decision of 7 September 2004,
Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together.
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicants, Mr Fikret Odabaşı, Mr Ömer Karaman and Mr Mustafa Tüten, are Turkish nationals who were born in 1944, 1939 and 19483 respectively and live in Istanbul. They are represented before the Court by Mr H. Hüsamettin Koçak, a lawyer practising in Istanbul.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 10 September 1992 the General Directorate of National Roads and Highways (Karayolları Genel Müdürlüğü) expropriated a plot of land belonging to the applicants in order to build a motorway. A committee of experts assessed the value of the plots of land and the relevant amounts were paid to the applicants.
The applicants filed two separate actions requesting additional compensation. On 4 June 1996 the Pendik Civil Court of First-instance awarded an additional compensation plus interest at the statutory rate of 824,500,000 Turkish Liras (TRL) to Mr Odabaşı and TRL 1,209,144,395 to Mr Tüten. On 26 September 1996 the Court of Cassation upheld the judgments. On 17 March 1998 the authorities paid the sum of TRL 1,434,886,000 to Mr Odabaşı and TRL 2,122,575,000 to Mr Tüten, interest included.
By a partial decision adopted by the Court on 7 September 2004, the case was communicated in respect of Mr Odabaşı and Mr Tüten and was declared inadmissible in respect of Mr Karaman.4
On 3 January 2005 the Turkish Government submitted their observations on the admissibility and merits of the case.
By a letter of 3 February 2005 the applicants were requested to submit by 3 March 2005 their observations on the admissibility and merits as well as their just satisfaction claims and their position regarding a friendly settlement.
The applicants failed to reply to this letter.
By a registered letter of 12 April 2005 the applicants were informed that the period allowed for the submission of their observations, their just satisfaction claims and their position regarding a friendly settlement had expired. They were further notified in the same letter that the Court could strike a case out of its list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, where the circumstances led to the conclusion that the applicant did not intend to pursue the application.
The applicants did not reply to this letter, either.
The applicants complain under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention that the authorities had delayed in paying them the additional compensation and that, at a time when the annual rate of inflation in Turkey had been very high, they had been paid insufficient interest.
The Court observes that the applicants failed to submit their observations on the admissibility and merits of the application, their just satisfaction claims and their position regarding a friendly settlement. Furthermore, it notes that the applicants did not reply to the registered letter of 12 April 2005 which informed them that their application could be struck out of the Court’s list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a), if the Court concluded that they no longer wished to pursue their case.
In these circumstances, the Court concludes that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention. Furthermore, the Court finds no reasons of a general character, as defined in Article 37 § 1 in fine, which would require the examination of the application by virtue of that Article. Accordingly, the Court decides that Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and that the case should be struck out of the Court’s list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Michael O’Boyle Nicolas Bratza
ODABAŞI AND OTHERS v. TURKEY DECISION
ODABAŞI AND OTHERS v. TURKEY DECISION