Diyarbakir City Council Files Injunction for Property Expropriation

Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church (Photo: Nanore Barsoumian)
Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church (Photo: Nanore Barsoumian)

Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church (Photo: Nanore Barsoumian)

DIYARBAKIR-DIKRANAGERT (Agos)—Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality appealed to Council of State for annulling the urgent expropriation decision taken by cabinet. Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality made another application to Council of State for stay of execution and annulment of the expropriation of 174 properties belonging to the municipality. In the petition, it is reminded that rights of property, resource and servitude belonging to public institutions cannot be expropriated. 

The first lawsuit filed by the municipality is against the urgent expropriation in Sur, which is in the area of responsibility of the municipality. Almost the entire Sur province is in the scope of this expropriation plan. The second lawsuit is filed about 174 properties belonging to the municipality, which are included in the scope of the expropriation plan.

Among the expropriated properties are the Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic and the Armenian Catholic churches.

In the petition for annulment, it is stated that this expropriation plan involves grave violations of right. It is pointed out that cabinet’s decision is against law, principles of democratic and social state of law and principles of right of property, equality, housing and security of domicile.

“If the decision of cabinet wouldn’t be annulled, almost 50,000 people would be displaced and turned into refugees inside the country. This decision is against Article 13, 23, 35, 41, 46, 56 and 57 to the Turkish Constitutional Law and it is also against Article 1 of  Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Annulment of this decision, which is clearly against the national and international laws, is a necessity in a state of law.”



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  1. Raffi said:

    Turkey doesn’t give a damn what Int’l lawa says, he wel knows that he will get away with it, Erdogan has the balls of the west in his hands

  2. Ari said:

    I guess the newly rebuilt church will become a Turkish army barracks again, or perhaps a working Turkish bathhouse.

    Turks have plenty experience in these types of conversions.

    Now let’s give them all visa free entry to Europe so that in a a generation or so, they would do the same to other Europeans.

  3. Peter M. said:

    Could someone add one more bit of reporting to this story: What is the day-to-day reality on the ground? Are people still coming-and-going in-and-around Surp Giragos? I was there for a couple of days in June 2014. It was a vibrant area. Has that been eliminated or is everyone going about their business waiting for the legal action to play out?

    Also, the word “expropriation” is unclear to me. Has Surp Giragos been physically “seized? Has it been “confiscated.”

    The “expropriation” is troubling. The legal action seems to indicate hope. But, until all the legal efforts play out, where do we stand….before “50,000 people” are turned into “refugees inside the country?”

    How has life changed since the expropriation???