The municipality filed a lawsuit to the Administrative Court for getting back the land that was returned to Surp Pırgiç Hospital in 2014. After losing that lawsuit, the municipality appealed to Council of State. And 10th Chamber of the Council of State made an unprecedentedly quick ruling and reversed the judgment of the court by reasoning that the land that was expropriated by the municipality cannot be returned to the foundation.
Losing the the lawsuit that was filed to the Administrative Court, Zeytinburnu Municipality appealed to Council of State. And 10th Chamber of the Council of State made an unprecedentedly quick ruling and reversed the judgment of the court by reasoning that the land that was expropriated by the municipality cannot be returned to the foundation. Surp Pırgiç Hospital Foundation reacted against the ruling and filed an appeal to the higher court with the General Directorate for Foundations.
The process was as the following: the municipality claimed that the deed transaction carried out by the General Directorate for Foundations is against the law, because the expropriated lands cannot be returned as part of a decree having force of law. And Council of State ruled that the deed registration is not in the scope of the Provisional Article 11 to the Law of Foundations and sent the file back to the court for the annulment of the procedure.
The higher court will rule
Sırp Pırgiç Hospital Foundation Vice Chair Herman Baliyan spoke to Agos: “We appealed to the higher court for the correction of the ruling made by 10th Chamber of the Council of State. We are waiting for it to see whether the file will be sent back to the administrative court. We were an intervening party in the case which was between the General Directorate for Foundations and Zeytinburnu Municipality. In fact, the municipality appealed after the period of appeal ended. In legal terms, everything shows that we are right, but somehow the ruling is against us. Our legal struggle will continue, but it is up to the judges. In 1985, when the land was expropriated, it was in possession of the General Directorate for Foundations. The officials from the Directorate said that the municipality hasn't paid the expropriation price and therefore has no pretension. We think that the ruling will be in our favor.”
The municipality insists on confiscation
This 42.259-square-meters land across the hospital was one of the most important properties that Armenian community had, which was lost during the republic period. In 1974, one morning, bulldozers entered the land and it was confiscated on the ground that it has no registered owner. After this incident, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality bought a large part of the land. Now, there are a sport complex, an open-air marketplace and a parking lot on the land.
As part of the Provisional Article 11 to the Law of Foundations, which became effective in 2011, Surp Pırgiç Armenian Hospital Foundation filed an application to the General Directorate for Foundations for getting the land back. The Directorate decided to returned the land and the Foundation got the deed back on January 22, 2014.
After the returning decision, Zeytinburnu Municipality sued the Directorate for getting the deed back. On December 29, 2014, Istanbul 1st Administrative Court decided that the Directorate's decision is legal.
Zeytinburnu Municipality appealed the decision. Moreover, the municipality made some changes on the zoning plan and turned a part of the land (8000 square meters) that was registered as commerce space into green space. On January, this plan was approved by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and now, the land cannot be used as a housing or commerce area. Surp Pırgiç Armenian Hospital Foundation filed a lawsuit against the changes on zoning plan made by Zeytinburnu Municipality.