For the past four years, a Fourier transform spectrometer diagnostic system, employing a fast‐scanning polarizing Michelson interferometer (FMI), has been operating on the TFTR tokamak at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. It is used to measure the electron cyclotron emission (ECE) spectrum over the range 2.5–18 cm-1 (75–540 GHz), with a resolution of 0.123 cm-1 (3.7 GHz), at a rate of 72 spectra per second. The quasioptical system for collecting the light and transporting it through the interferometer to the detector has been designed using the concepts of both Gaussian and geometrical optics. The commercial FMI was custom made for this project and is the state of the art for this type of specialized instrument. The diagnostic system is described and an error propagation analysis of the absolute calibration process is given. Examples of ECE spectra measured in two polarization directions are given and electron temperature profiles derived from each of them are compared.