Application no. 72525/01
by Ekrem ŞAHİNTÜRK
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 20 October 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr B.M. Zupančič, President,
Mr L. Caflisch,
Mr R. Türmen,
Mr C. Bîrsan,
Mrs M. Tsatsa-Nikolovska,
Mr V. Zagrebelsky,
Mr David Thór Björgvinsson, judges,
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 7 January 2000,
Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Ekrem Şahintürk, is a Turkish national who was born in 1937 and lives in Afyon. He is represented before the Court by Mr E. Erkan, a lawyer practising in Afyon.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
In 1996 the Ministry of Public Works and Settlement (Bayındırlık ve İskan Bakanlığı) issued an order of expropriation for the applicant’s two plots of land in Dinar, a district attached to Afyon, after the earthquake of 1 October 1995. A committee of experts assessed the value of the plots of land and the relevant amount was paid to the applicant.
Following the applicant’s request for additional compensation, on 28 November 1996 the Dinar Civil Court of First-instance awarded him a certain amount of compensation plus interest at the statutory rate.
On 4 March 1997 the Court of Cassation quashed the judgment of the First-instance court and ordered the latter to examine additional expert reports.
On 24 July 1997, following the examination of additional reports, the Dinar Civil Court of First-instance awarded the applicant the sum of 613,350,000 Turkish liras (TRL) plus interest at the statutory rate, applicable at the date of the court’s decision, running from 19 September 1996, the date on which the case was lodged.
On 27 October 1997 the Court of Cassation upheld the judgment of the Dinar Civil Court of First-instance.
On 12 December 1997 the Court of Cassation rejected the request for rectification.
On 20 April and 19 July 1999 the Ministry paid the applicant the sum of TRL 1,248,167,250, interest included.
The applicant complained under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 that he had been paid insufficient interest on additional compensation received following the expropriation of the plot of land. He further alleged under the same heading that the authorities had delayed in paying him the relevant amount.
Following informal contacts between the applicant’s and the Government’s representatives, the Section Registrar was asked to assist the parties in reaching a solution to the matter. As a result, the Registrar addressed draft declarations to the parties.
The Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Turkey offer to pay ex gratia USD 753 (seven hundred and fifty-three US dollars) to Mr Ekrem Şahintürk with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the application registered under no. 72525/01. This sum shall cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs.
This sum will be payable within three months from the date of the decision by the Court pursuant to the Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It shall be paid in US dollars to a bank account named by the applicant, free of any taxes and charges that may be applicable. This payment will constitute the final resolution of the case. In the event of failure to pay this sum within the said three-month period, the Government undertake to pay, until settlement, simple interest on the amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.
Ankara, 28 June 2005”
The Court received the following declaration signed by the representative of the applicant:
“I note that the Government of Turkey are prepared to pay ex gratia the sum of USD 753 (seven hundred and fifty-three US dollars) to Mr Ekrem Şahintürk with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the application registered under no. 72525/01. This sum shall cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs.
I also note that the amount indicated will be paid within three months from the date of the decision by the Court pursuant to the Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. From the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.
I accept the proposal and waive any further claims against Turkey in respect of the facts of this application. I declare that this constitutes a final settlement of the case.
This declaration is made in the context of a friendly settlement which the Government and the applicant have reached.
Dinar, 5 July 2005”
The Court takes note of the friendly settlement reached between the parties. It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols and finds no public policy reasons to justify a continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). Accordingly, Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Vincent Berger Boštjan M. Zupančič Registrar President
ŞAHİNTÜRK v. TURKEY DECISION
ŞAHİNTÜRK v. TURKEY DECISION