The Turkish Constitutional Court was established by the 1961 Constitution. It was modeled on the European model of posteriori constitutional review. The power to review the constitutionality of laws was endowed solely with the Constitutional Court by the 1961 Constitution.
The system of constitutional review established by the 1961 Constitution was preserved in the 1982 Constitution with minor changes. In the 1982 Constitution, the Constitutional Court, being one of the highest constitutional organs, is on a par with the Grand National Assembly and the Executive and placed as the first judicial organ among "the High Courts". Articles 146-153 of the Constitution lay down in detail the composition, duties, working methods of the Constitutional Court and other issues concerning constitutional review. The Constitutional Court carried out its duties until 2011 according to the Law No 2949 (dated 10 November 1983).
Since the composition, powers and structure of the Court were changed considerably by the constitutional amendments in 2010, a new law was enacted in 2011. The new Law on Establishment and Rules of Procedures of the Constitutional Court (No 6216, 30 March 2011) stipulates its organization, structure, proceedings and disciplinary proceedings. The Law No. 6216 vests in the Plenary of the Court the authority to regulate its internal rules. Therefore, by-laws on the organization and procedure of the Constitutional Court are established by the Internal Regulation of the Court.
2017 Constitutional Amendment
Under the 2017 amendment, the number of Justices has been reduced to fifteen, and the quorum for the Plenary altered to ten.
The Constitutional Court is also vested with the power to examine any claim raised on the unconstitutionality in the form or substance of the Presidential-decrees.
In accordance with the amendment, the President of the Republic, the two parliamentary groups having the greatest number of members in the Turkish Grand National Assembly and a minimum of one-fifth of the total number of members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly have the right to apply for an annulment action to the Constitutional Court with the claim of unconstitutionality in the form or substance of articles or provisions of laws, Presidential decrees, the Rules of Procedure of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
In addition, the Military Court of Appeals and the High Military Administrative Court have been abolished with the amendment. Hence, no Justice will be appointed anymore from those Courts once the term of office of the elected Justices from the Military Court of Appeals and the High Military Administrative Court expires.
In accordance with the amendment, the Constitutional Court has authority to try, in the capacity of the Supreme Criminal Tribunal, the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the vice-presidents, ministers, the Presidents and Justices of the Constitutional Court, Court of Cassation and Council of State, the Chief Prosecutors, the Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Republic, the President and members of the Council of Judges and the Supreme Court of Accounts for crimes regarding their duties. The Chief of General Staff and commanders of the Army, Navy and the Air Forces will also be tried for crimes regarding their duties by the Supreme Criminal Tribunal.