ILLEGALITIES RELATING TO THE ÇEŞME WPP
UPDATE: Illegal road closure On the 20 November at 7:00am, three 55 ton oversized trucks carrying Nordex turbine parts to the ABK Çeşme RES project area dangerously blocked a road in Çeşme. Despite having a police escort, the trucks had no legally required permission from the traffic coordination department (UKOME) in İzmir. Road users and local residents refused to move out the way of the trucks and the resulting 4-hour stalemate was only broken when over 50 police moved against the peaceful group to clear the road. This was yet another example of how ABK Çeşme RES and German company Nordex have trampled on the law in Turkey. Get full details.
UPDATE: Illegal excavation & forgery of an official document On the 11 October, 2014 at 17:00, ABK Çeşme RES A.Ş. employees and a local contractor were caught digging up a public road without any kind of safety precautions. When they were challenged by local citizens and the neighbourhood leader of Fahrettin Paşa district, the company’s project manager produced a permission letter from Çeşme Muncipality.
Subsequent investigation has revealed that this permission document was a forgery. It was not signed by the responsible official at Çeşme Municipality as it should have been. Instead it was signed by an employee from TEDAŞ, the electricity distribution company, who has no authority to grant this type of permission. A criminal complaint has been filed against ABK Çeşme RES employees and submitted to the district public prosecutor. See pictures here.
UPDATE: Illegal trespass on private land On the night of the 2-3 October, 2014 3 trucks carrying Nordex wind turbine parts illegally removed a fence and crossed private property without permission from the landowner. See pictures here.
UPDATE: Official construction period expires ABK Çeşme RES A.Ş.’s official construction period during which they must legally have completed their Çeşme WPP expired on the 29th September, 2014. The company’s project license must now legally be revoked.
UPDATE: Illegal trespass and criminal damage to private land Between 10-13th September, ABK Çeşme RES A.Ş., Bilmer İnşaat A.Ş. and their local contractors illegally widened a public road to allow access for the trucks that will carry the turbine parts to the erection points. This work was completely illegal. They had no permission from the Çeşme Municipality or the private land owners affected by the work. Before being stopped by the Municipal Police, these illegal activities did extensive damage to private property including uprooting olive and almond trees. Click here to see pictures of them caught in the act.
- Article 27 to the Expropriation Law sets out that “In implementing the Law 3634 on National Defense Obligation, the expropriation of the necessary properties in the cases where the Cabinet makes a decision with regard to the need and urgency of the country’s defense, or in emergency cases, that are enumerated by special laws can be carried out upon the relevant agency’s request following the payment of the relevant property’s value, which is determined by experts appointed by the court, within seven days under the principles prescribed in Article 10 and as per the Article 15, is made by the relevant agency to the bank account that is stated in the invitation letter and announcement to be made by the agency on behalf of the owner according to Article 10, provided that the procedures other than valuation are carried out later.” The text of this Article clearly demonstrates that, the Urgent Expropriation Decision is implemented in special cases such as national defense. The case of urgency must be irrefutable and its general framework must be described. In Cesme’s case there are no grounds for urgency. The urgent expropriation is illegal. The State Council adjudged a stay of execution with regards to the annulment of urgent expropriation.
- The stay of execution judgments made by the State Council have not been implemented by the administrative authorities. Although the non-execution of judgments is considered an offense in the Turkish Penal Code and the Republic of Turkey is a “state of law” according to its constitution, when the law is infringed and actions violating the Constitution are taken.
- The stay of execution judgments, which are made by the administrative courts and the actions brought for the annulment of expropriation, have also not been implemented.
- Although the stay of execution judgments were made both by the State Council and the Administrative Courts regarding the “Valuation and Registration” actions brought against citizens before Çeşme Civil Courts of First Instance, the actions brought for the annulment of expropriation have not been considered as a prejudicial question.
- Despite the fact that the properties where the installation of WPP’s are planned within the borders of degree 1 and 2 protected areas and while it is obvious according to the principle decisions of the Law on the Protection of Natural Assets that only permission for transmission lines may be given in areas that are subject to a definite construction ban, the entire power plant site of the investor companies are within the degree 1 and 2 natural protected areas.
- A decision has been taken to release the companies that make investments in the region from the responsibility of obtaining EIA reports separately. However, the Law on Environment requires a cumulative impact assessment for the investments made in the region. As a matter of fact, the total investment that is made in this region amounts to 76 MW. The destruction brought about by the EIA Exemption process, plays a big role in making our country’s environmental problems permanent, the increase in injustice and lawlessness, and in the eradication of national resources, is terrifying. And the destruction that this process brings about in Çeşme will also be terrifying.
- On 3/7/2014, the Constitutional Court adjudged for an annulment of the temporary article whereby Law 2872 on the Environment be amended to introduce an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) exemption for major projects that pose a risk to the environment. Still, the actions taken by the companies do not conform to the judgment of the Constitutional Court.
- The preconstruction period for 95% of the wind power plants that are involved in the licensing process expired as of May 2nd, 2014. According to the provisions of Article 6 and Temporary Article 9 to the Law 6446 on the Electricity Market and Article 15 to the Electricity Market License Regulations. Since the companies, which will generate power in the region, have failed to finalize the procedures relating to the preconstruction period within the periods set out by the law and regulations and within the additional period granted under the temporary law, their generation licenses are legally null and void. Therefore, EMRA must cancel these licenses.
- As these licenses have not been cancelled, EMRA is currently violating the law and it may receive a compensation penalty in the future.
- Some of the citizens that have sought legal aid have been sued for “Violation of the Freedom of Labor” as they oppose the illegal construction activities on their privately-registered lands.
- Each of the citizens that opposed the judges who do not consider the actions for the annulment of expropriation as a “prejudicial question” despite the rulings for a stay of execution have been illegally fined for TRL 5,000 by these judges with the accusation that the citizens “want to lengthen the proceeding and that their petitions are in a printed form”. These judgments have been appealed by the citizens involved.
- Among the investors in this region, ABK Çeşme RES A.Ş. occupied the privately-owned lands of the citizens, built roads, and dumped tons of excavation materials prior to the completion of the expropriation procedures and the registration processes. Despite all of the efforts made to seek legal remedies, the government authorities failed to protect the private property, a right that is protected by the constitution. The company cannot obtain a “building license” without completing the entire legal licenses and processes relating to the preconstruction period that is subject to the generation license. Nevertheless, all of the civil works for the foundation have been completed, the switching plant buildings have been constructed, and a concrete sub-basement hundreds of square meters in size has been made without obtaining Municipal permission under the construction site’s prefabricated buildings that are located in the degree 1 natural protected area.