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S.S. Gölmarmara ve Çevresi Su Ürünleri Kooperatifi v. Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Manisa Directorate of Provincial Agriculture and Forestry
Data source:
Sabin Center
Court name:
Administrative Court of Manisa
Seat of court:
The Marmara Lake which is in the city of Manisa, Turkey, was announced as a wetland of national importance in 2017 and it has been under the protection of Regulation on Conservation of Wetlands. The lake is an alluvial barrier lake and an important carbon sink. To supply water to the city of Izmir, the government designated the water resources to the Gördes Dam, which resulted as a loss of resource for Marmara Lake and to it drying up within the last ten years, loosing almost ninety-eight percent of its surface area. Although the lake is almost dried up, the Manisa Directorate of Provincial Agriculture and Forestry has requested rent from the Claimant, a cooperative union of fishermen active in the Marmara Lake, for the fishery license and issued an order of payment. The Claimant, alleging that the reason for the drought is the wrong policies and inaction of the administration and stating that their income has decreased, and some members even left the fishery, requested the annulment of the order of payment. After the drought, many families that fished had to migrate. The Claimant asserts that the administration failed its duty to protect the Marmara Lake and other wetlands as carbon sinks with inadequate policies and insufficient environmental impact assessments for projects, which resulted in it drying up. Considering the obligation to mitigate climate change under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, which are immediately enforceable under the Turkish Constitution, the government has failed to fulfill its international obligations. As a result, annulment of the payment order issued by the administration is requested.

Key environmental legal questions:

Request for the annulment of an order of payment and determination of the failure of the administrative duty to protect carbon sinks
Suits against governments; Protecting biodiveristy and ecosystems