The individual application, which is the subject of the Constitutional Court decision published in the Official Gazette, dated 27 March 2024 and numbered 32502, pertains to the Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) positive decisions granted for the Power Plant Project planned by a private company. These decisions were nullified by the Court of First Instance on 16 December 2016. The annulment decision was subsequently appealed and upheld by the Council of State.

While the appeal process was ongoing, a second EIA decision was issued for the same project, prompting the applicants to file an annulment lawsuit before Izmir 5th Administrative Court (“Court”). On 26 October 2018, the Court annulled the EIA positive decision. The expert report, which formed the basis for the Court’s decision, indicated the presence of olive groves within three kilometers of the ash and slag storage area outlined in the project plan. This annulment decision was also appealed.

Once again, while the appeal process of the Court’s decision was ongoing, a third positive EIA decision was issued. Foça Municipality and the applicants filed separate annulment lawsuits against this positive decision. While these lawsuits were pending, the Council of State reversed the decision ruling the annulment of the second EIA decision and definitively decided to dismiss the lawsuit. The lawsuit filed against the third EIA positive decision was rejected on 14 November 2019. This decision, which was subsequently appealed, was upheld by the Council of State.

Afterward, the applicants submitted an individual application to the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court decided that:

  • The EIA positive decision is not in compliance with the law as there are olive groves less than three kilometres away from the existing waste storage area,
  • It was understood that the Courts of First Instance did not investigate the environmental impacts of alternative waste valorisation and storage activities, as well as the measures and commitments within this scope. Therefore, it cannot be said that the decisions to dismiss the cases were based on an adequate justification.

Due to these factors, it was decided that the public authorities did not exercise due diligence. Public and individual interests were not properly assessed, and the right to respect for private life was violated.

The full text of the Constitutional Court’s decision with application number 2019/29604, published in the Official Gazette, dated 27 March 2024 and numbered 32502, can be accessed via this link. (Only available in Turkish)