The head of the Turkish Constitutional Court (AYM), Zühtü Arslan, has said that the court’s workload reached a "dramatic" level, with 12,000 individual petitions having been made to the court only in January and a total of 66,000 applications awaiting a decision.
He said that this figure of 12,000 is higher than German and Spanish Constitutional Courts’ annual number, even though Germany and Spain launched the individual petition system much earlier than Turkey.
Arslan made the comments on Feb. 14 at a meeting held within the scope of the "Project of Supporting the Effective Implementation of the Decisions of the Constitutional Court in the Field of Fundamental Rights."
The AYM receives as many applications as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) receives from 47 countries, Arslan said.
The mechanism of individual petitions to the AYM mandates that the applicant must have exhausted all other legal means to solve their problem, meaning that they've failed to find justice in lower courts.
Arslan said the reason for the individual application system is to settle claims of violation of rights from within national borders and to raise the standard of protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.
Some 66,121 individual applications were made in 2021 to the AYM, and the court has found at least one rights violation in 11,830 of these applications.