Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The misuse of Forest Law 4785

According to the Turkish Government Directive of 15/7/2004 Clause 26 Criterion c, all Forests nationalized or Forests elligible to be nationalized by Law 4785 of 1945 must be delimited as STATE FORESTS. The unforseeability of Law 4785 has already been discussed, however the way it is applied also frequently leads to the infringment of property rights.

As has been pointed out earlier in Section VI on Forest Area, only 10.5 million hectates of Forest officially existed in 1945. As a result, 10.5 million hectares is the maximum area of Forest that could have been Nationalized by Forest Law 4785 in 1945. Since the official State Forest area is over 20 million hectares today, the extra 10 million hectares could not have been Nationalized by Law 4785 in 1945.

It is widely alleged that the Turkish Government has illegally Nationalized large areas of private land without paying compensation by falsely claiming that it was legally categorised as Forest in 1945. The eligibility of a forest area to be Nationalized by Law 4785 of 1945 can only be determined by the examination of Country
Maps prepared before 1945, 1:25000 Forest Management Maps of Turkey also prepared before 1945, and aerial photos completed by 1945. In practice Forest Survey Commissions rarely base their decision on such documents, because these documents are unavailable or are allegedly withheld by the Turkish Government.

Instead the Forest Survey Commissions use modern survey maps and the results of real-time surveys to come to their conclusions, and this leads to the nationalization of some Forests that were recognised after 1945 and that were not eligible to be nationalized by Law 4785 of 1945.

It must not be forgotten that much of the forest which came into official existence after 1945 did so because the definition of “FOREST” was changed several times after 1945.

No comments:

Post a Comment