Controversial 'Expropriation Law' passes in Turkey

17 Aralık 2023 Pazar

The law, known in public as the 'Expropriation Law,' was passed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) on the night of November 7, 2023, with the approval of 237 MPs from the AKP and MHP parties. Only 82 opposition MPs voted against it. Of the 281 MPs who did not participate in the vote, 195 were from the opposition.

With the legal amendment, the phrase 'as a new settlement area' was removed from the definition, and almost all restrictions related to reserve construction identification were lifted. Thus, new or existing settlement areas, including areas not under disaster risk, can now be designated as reserve construction areas.

According to the new regulation, urban transformation can now be carried out based on the decision of the majority of owners, instead of the previous requirement of a two-thirds agreement...


Immediately after the law was published in the Official Gazette on November 9, 2023, the 'reserve area' application was implemented in the Defne and Antakya districts of Hatay. In Samandağ, a reserved area had already been designated before the law change, according to the 2012 Law No. 6306 on the Transformation of Areas Under Disaster Risk. Hundreds of citizens found out that their homes and shops had been transferred to the Treasury through messages on their phones.

They say that if the building you live in falls within the designated reserve area for urban transformation, they can give you a house in new buildings to be constructed in a distant area of the city. But if you can't pay the selling price of the new house, you'll lose it. Those unable to pay the selling price due to constantly rising material costs will be forced to take out loans, and if they can't find the money, they will lose their homes.

Suppose you find a loan. Since rental assistance is not mandatory, where will you find a house in an environment where rents have abnormally increased? Speaking specifically of Hatay, how many Turkish citizens in that region can afford these loans and exorbitant rents?


This is a plunder project aimed at driving retirees, low-income earners, and small and medium property owners from city centers to the outer edges of cities and opening city centers to Qataris, wealthy Arabs, Russians, and the elites of the ruling party.

The basic intention of this law, which poses the risk of expropriating the labor of those who have worked for years to acquire something and opening new plunder zones for the capitalist class under the guise of reserve areas, should be seen as driven by profit motive rather than public benefit. There is also the danger of privatizing public areas such as parks and forests while transferring property rights in settlement areas to capital!

Unfortunately, the opposition's failure to adequately oppose this law in the TBMM, their lack of full participation in the voting, and their failure to keep the issue on the public agenda suggest that they might also be part of this operation.

There are three weeks left until the deadline to apply to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of the plunder law. I hope the main opposition party takes action and applies to the Constitutional Court before the deadline expires!

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