GLU: The 2008 Crisis in Turkey and the Unions’ Response

The insertion of the Turkish economy into global capitalism has mostly occurred during times of economic crisis.

By Yasemin Özgün & Özgür Müftüoğlu, originally published in the Global Labour Column

During the present crisis as in the crises of 1979, 1994 and 2001, the Turkish government took many steps according to the policy frameworks determined by global actors to integrate further into global capitalism. Such steps did yield some positive results for those sections of capital that could adjust to the rules of global competition and integrate with global capital. Nevertheless, Turkey’s survival strategy, which rested on cheap labour, has caused increased pressure on workers as well as high unemployment, poverty and job insecurity. Unfortunately, due to the prohibitions on union activities following the 1980 coup, combined with new work regulations deriving from changing production systems, the working class and unions did not have sufficient strength to resist this process.

The 2008 Crisis in Turkey and the Unions’ Response