Following the land dispute involving the plot on which Diyarbakır Airport today stands, the land plot on which Batman Airport stands has also become the subject of a lawsuit. Zuart Sudjian has filed a case claiming that the State had built an airport on the plot she had inherited. Sudjian’s land in nearby Diyarbakır had also been appropriated by the State, and the Diyarbakır Airport was built on a part of her plot.
Zuart Sudjian is an Armenian whose family roots go back to Diyarbakır. Sudjian is a member of the Basmacıyan family from Diyarbakır, and she lives in Diyarbakır today. Sudjian found out that the land she had inherited from her family had been appropriated by the State during cadastral work, upon which she launched a legal process and applied to court for the return of her land. According to her application, like in Diyarbakır, an airport had been built on Sudjian’s land in Batman. The Batman 2nd Court of First Instance accepted her application and opened a lawsuit.
Villagers claim rejected because it belonged to ‘disappeared’ Armenians
The story of the land is also interesting. According to the case file, after the family left Turkey, the land was used by villagers for many years. The cadastral survey in question was carried out in 1960. However, during the cadastral work, the villagers claimed that the use rights of the land belonged to them, and filed a lawsuit for the land to be given to them. In 1963, the Batman Cadastral Court rejected the application of the villagers. In its reasoned decision, the court stated that the land plot in question had been transferred to the Treasury from Armenians who had ‘disappeared’ 40 years ago and belonged to the Treasury since then, and that the villagers who had filed the lawsuit had no rights over the land, and rejected their case. This is the most important official document on the ownership of the land.
Court accepts case
Sudjian’s lawyers presented the 1963 decision of the Cadastral Court as evidence in the new case. The lawyers stated that the registration carried out by the Treasury was “irregular” and demanded the annulment of the registration, and the payment of compensation.
The lawyers also pointed out to the fact that in the other case involving the Diyarbakır Airport land, the prior decision of the court to reject the case on the basis of the expiry of the 10-year period involving the loss of rights had been annulled by the Court of Cassation and demanded the acceptance of the file. The court thus accepted the file and launched the case. The court will begin survey work following the examination of the cadastral records of the land plot and the land deeds presented by the lawyers.