Last update: August 17, 2017

Mehmet Horuş June 16, 2017 Turkey

Supreme Court decision re planning of wind turbine project, Çeşme, Turkey

This decision of the Supreme Court is one of the most important judicial verdicts ruled in Turkey regarding wind turbine projects.

Mehmet Horus
Environment lawyer Mehmet Horuş

One of the most fundamental issues regarding ABK Çeşme RES project is that it is being established on a “1st degree natural protected area”, abbreviated as SIT. At present, because wind turbine project cases are something new to the judicial system, the courts have not been able to establish a clear approach in this respect. Of course until now, the courts have also been affected by these projects being presented as "renewables". However, according to the laws in Turkey, the establishment of wind turbine projects should never be allowed on the 1st degree natural SIT areas. Due to this, The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization issued a resolution N° 98, with this regulation titled "RES Resolution Decision in Natural SIT Areas", a 300-meter distance condition has been brought in to the criteria. It may be argued what makes the distance of 300 meters, but with this principle, the Ministry of the Environment has accepted the fact that wind turbine projects have an impact on the environment. Thus, a scientific fact was legally accepted, although partially, as well. The pre-acceptance of the impact of wind turbine projects on natural environment as “ZERO” has now been refuted.

In the development plans prepared for ABK Çeşme RES, the effects of RES wind turbines had been acknowledged as "ZERO", and the effects on the environment were limited only to the impact of the turbine platform areas during the construction.

The Supreme Court/the Highest Court has finally ruled that this approach is unacceptable. Under the laws of the Turkish Republic, it has been concluded that scientifically and legally it is wrong to make "spotted" and "fragmented" plans. The verdict stated that the evaluation and assessment as a whole region should be made and that the development and construction plans prepared for ABK Çeşme RES should be canceled.

This decision of the Supreme Court is one of the most important judicial verdicts ruled in Turkey regarding wind turbine projects. What is even more important is that all court cases against ABK RES regarding expropriation, license, EIA, not required that had been on halt until this decision of the Supreme Court now will be ruled. Henceforward, all administrative permits for this project have to be cancelled.

Mehmet Horuş
Environment lawyer