Before the Ottoman Period

Within the Turkish state administration experience exceeding one thousand years, documents concerning the state revenues and expenditures, registry order and accounting system as well as the audit of revenues and expenditures have undergone significant changes. Intoday’s system, the establishment of Divan-ı Muhasebat (Court of Accounts) is of particular importance, and while the Seljuks had a significant impact on the Ottoman state organisation, the previous Turkish states and the contemporary Turkish and Muslim states were influential on the state organisation of the Seljuks.

The Gokturk State (552-745): The importance of “Kuyudat Memuru (Records Officer)” is understood from the manuscripts dating back to this period as well as the Orkhon and Tonyukuk inscriptions.The Uygur State (911-1209): There are examples of tax registers, books kept by the traders as well as commercial papers dating back to this period.

The Karahan State (840-1211):  Kutad-gu  Bilig  of Yusuf Has Hacip  and  Divan-I  Lügat-it  Türk of Kaşgarlı Mahmut are important sources of information concerning the pre-Islamic state structure. The grand vizier and the courts affiliated to him formed the basis of the state structure in  the Karahan State, and the control of the financial works was carried out by (Court of Control).

The Ghaznavid State (963-1187): Out of five courts in the state organisation of the Ghaznavid State, Divan-ı İşraf was responsible for the control of the financial works.The Seljuk Empire (1040-1308): The information concerning the vizier at the head of the state organisation, the courts affiliated to the vizier as well as the books keptby these courts reveals that there was an organized state structure along with an advanced accounting system. Another important organ in the Seljuk state structure was Divan-ı İşraf, which controlled the revenues and expenditures of the state.


Ottoman Period

Influenced significantly by the Seljuks and the Ilkhanids in terms of the financial system, the Ottoman Empire had “Başbaki Kulluğu  (Court of Audit)” for the financial control in the time between the 16th century and the establishment of the Ministry of Finance. It was replaced by more modern institutions at the beginning of the 19th century. Following 1838 when the Ministry of Finance was established, various councils and commissions were established in order to solve the problems related to the collection of tax revenues and to control the revenue and expenditure items of the state as well as the financial transactions.

Since the desired efficiency could not be achieved in the financial transactions and the established council did not meet the needs, a  new council called Meclis-i Muhasebe (Council of Accounting) commissioned for realising the financial arrangements and controlling the budget accounts and preparing the budget in particular.In 1862, the Court of Accounts was established with the name of “Divan-ı Muhasebat”. Becoming a constitutional institution of the state by being defined in the Constitution, the Court of Accounts started to audit the revenues and expenditures of the institutions affiliated to the Treasury as well as the accounting records and the other transactions on an annual basis and to perform the approvals of the expenditures before spending.

Turkish Court of Accounts (TCA) was set up by an imperial edict of His Majesty Sultan Aziz I on 29 May 1862 and took its place as a Supreme Audit Institution in the first Ottoman Constitution of 1876. During the Republican period its status was reconfirmed in the 1924, 1961 and 1982 Constitutions, the last of which is in force today.
The TCA was set up on the basis of the model in use in continental Europe, and France in particular. It has judicial power and functions through chambers. Its traditional structure has recently been affected by reforms to the system of public financial management and control in Turkey.

The Period of the Republic of Turkey

With the establishment of the Republic, the Court of Accounts was restructured on the basis of the Continental Europe French model in parallel to the other developments in the state structure and was included in the 1924 Constitution. While it was called as Divan-ı Muhasebat since the Ottoman period, its name was changed as Sayıştay (Turkish Court of Accounts – TCA) with the law no.823 dated 1967.
With the Public Financial Management and Control Law no. 5018 dated 2003, the application of funds was ended, and all revenues, expenditures and debts of the state were included into the budget and were made subject to the legislative audit. With the TCA Law no. 6085 dated 2010, all activities benefiting from the public funds were subjected to the audit of the TCA. This law also incorporated the Prime Ministry Supreme Auditing Board, which would conduct the audit on the state economic enterprises, into the TCA, and the dual structure in the public audit was ended.

Attributing a great importance to the international cooperation in order to share its historical experience gained since Divan-ı İşraf, which was audit organ of the Karahan, the Ghaznevid and the Great Seljuk States, with the world and to develop itself continuously in parallel with the modern world, the TCA is an active member of the INTOSAI (International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions), ASOSAI (Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions), EUROSAI (European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions) and ECOSAI (Economic Cooperation Organisation Supreme Audit Institutions) in which it is the founding member.