Perceptions of National Security in Turkey and Their Impacts on the Labor Movement and Trade Union Activities

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Urhan Çelik B. , Çelik S.

European Journal of Turkish Studies, ss.2-20, 2010 (Diğer Kurumların Hakemli Dergileri)

  • Basım Tarihi: 2010
  • Dergi Adı: European Journal of Turkish Studies
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.2-20


The Turkish army has played a major role as custodians of the state since the beginning of the republic. Toward this end, the armed forces have intervened directly in the country’s politics three times. These interventions have taken various forms, and even in the course of the periods of normalization of military-civilian relations, the concept of national security has strongly influenced the trade unions and the labor policies as a whole. Although the principal objective of trade unions has been defending the employment and the livelihoods of workers, and to build a better working environment in the workplace in general, trade union organizations have historically been organized and functioned under the shadow of national
security related concerns in Turkey. As we discuss in this paper, even though the trade union movement originated in the post war era, and started to become a stable force in the social and political scene, the Turkish labor movement has been dominated by state concerns over national security, and the level of freedom enjoyed by organized labor has been limited. In our work, we addressed the outcome of the national security concerns over the organization efforts of the trade unions, and display how these interventions interrupted the development of the trade unions since the legalization of the labor movement in 1947.