Hacı Bişkin / Duvar

A deeds registry office in the western province of İzmir has blocked the sale of an apartment flat owned by a couple — one of whom is a former public servant who was dismissed from his job by a government decree — by classifying the deed of the house as “risky.”

The deeds office told F.K that her jailed spouse H.K. — whose name is on the deed and who was previously sacked with a state of emergency decree and then later jailed — was featured “in the risk group.” On that basis, the couple was forbidden to sell the property.

The Turkish government has removed over 100,000 public servants from their posts through state of emergency decrees following the botched coup of July 2016. These people were sacked on the grounds that they were affiliated with the Gülen organization, accused of having plotted the coup attempt.

A mortgage problem

F.K. and her spouse H.K. had previously taken out a mortgage and then purchased their apartment flat in İzmir which they registered under H.K.’s name. Yet H.K. was removed from his post and imprisoned before the couple was able to pay off the mortgage.

When F.K. decided to sell the apartment to move to the town where H.K. was held in prison, the state-owned Ziraat Bank refused to allow F.K. to turn the mortgage into an ordinary loan, which would release the claim on the house and make its sale possible.

As a result, F.K. took out loans from other companies and paid off the mortgage on the house, assuming that the property would be this time qualified for sale.

Then, F.K. went to the local deed directorate, where she was told that her spouse was classified “in the risk group,” which meant the sale could not be authorized.

Eventually, the deed authority’s classification of F.K.’s spouse as “risky” caused the potential buyer to back out of the sale.

“We’ve been trying to sell this apartment for three months; the stress caused by the process has affected my health,” F.K. said.

HDP MP submits parliamentary question over the issue

Lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) presented a parliamentary question to Vice-President Fuat Oktay, inuring about the criteria used to classify someone “in the risk group.”

“Are imprisoned individuals classified as ‘the risk group’ in the deed directorate system?” Gergerlioğlu asked in his parliamentary question.

Gergerlioğlu also inquired about why Ziraat Bank refused to turn F.K.’s residential loan into a regular loan, why the couple was not able to sell their residence, whether public servants sacked with state of emergency decrees are allowed to sell property and how many individuals have tried and failed to sell their property in the last four years.