Analysis of the Ramsar Convention's Effectiveness on the Turkish Legislation and Judicial Decisions


WETLANDS, vol.41, no.3, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13157-021-01435-4
  • Journal Name: WETLANDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Environment Index, Geobase, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


Turkey became a party to the Ramsar Convention in 1994 and has since made effective progress on the legislation and administration for the protection of wetlands. We assessed the provisions of the Ramsar Convention with Turkish legislation by using a five-points scoring chart. We determined that there is 64,7% compliance rate among the examined legislation. Of 156 countries, Turkey is one of the best in adapting international commitments to its own domestic laws. Ramsar Convention's effectiveness on the judicial decisions was evaluated by analyzing 50 Council of State decisions from 1994 to 2020 in the terms of whether the Ramsar Convention was clearly referred or not. The rate of reference to the Ramsar Convention in judicial decisions is as low as 28%. However, in all the decisions that do refer to the Ramsar Convention, the court ruled in favor of the protection of the ecosystem. It has been determined that investment projects and changes in plans (zoning, landscaping, etc.) occupy an important place among the lawsuits. Considering the number of cases subject to litigation, we determined that wetlands, which have priority to be protected according to the Ramsar Convention, are among the places under pressure.