Industrial Relations in Turkey

Social Dialogue matters


DISK – Türkiye Devrimci Işçi Sendikaları Konfederasyonu


  • Foundation data: 1967
  • Affiliated Unions: 21
  • Members (2013) : 98.362
  • Members in management council: 9


DISK was founded in 1967 in protest against the a-political character of their former confederation, Türk-Is. DISK profiled themselves as a politically far-left union confederation and was strongly influenced by Marxism.

DISK had strong links with the in 1961 founded TIP (Türkiye Işçi Partisi – Turkish labour party), which was founded by the DISK co-founder Kemal Türkler. On that moment, Kemal Türkler was still a member of Türk-Is. In 1964, Türk-Is declared that they were politically ‘parti ustunde’ (above the parties). This a-political character of the Türk-Is confederation was one of the reasons leading to the rupture of some unions that founded the DISK confederation in 1967.

During the military coup of 1980, DISK was forbidden and it was only in 1991 that it was legalized. In an attempt to crush the leftist movements, the military regime prisoned multiple DISK members.

Current developments:

Currently, DISK abandoned its violent strategies of the past and is active, militant union fighting for workers rights and the democratisation of Turkey. DISK was the first to affiliate itself with ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation).

In april 2013, DISK organized an extraordinary general congress to elect a new management committee. For the first time in the history of DISK, a women was elected in the management committee: Arzu Çerkezoğlu (Devrimci Saglik Is) became the general secretary. Kani Beko (Genel Is) was elected president.

Affiliated Unions & relative weight

DISK 2013 %in sector %in confed
Gida-Is 234 0,34% 0,24%
Dev. Maden-Sen 178 0,10% 0,18%
Lastik-Is 7.168 1,54% 7,27%
TEKSTİL 10.203 1,02% 10,34%
TÜMKA-İŞ 593 0,27% 0,60%
BASIN-İŞ 546 0,52% 0,55%
Bank Sen 493 0,19% 0,50%
SİNE-SEN 15 0,00% 0,02%
SOSYAL-İŞ 7.246 0,34% 7,35%
BİRLEŞİK METAL-İŞ 26.061 1,91% 26,42%
DEVRİMCİ YAPI-İŞ 2 0,00% 0,00%
Enerji-Sen 279 0,12% 0,28%
NAKLİYAT-İŞ 2.789 0,42% 2,83%
LİMTER-İŞ 134 0,09% 0,14%
DEV SAĞLIK-İŞ 1.234 0,44% 1,25%
GENEL-İŞ 41.466 6,33% 42,04%
Total 98.641   100,00%


Blind, P. K. (2007). A New Actor in Turkish Democratization: Labor Unions. Turkish Studies , 8 (2),

Yildirim, E., Calis, S., & Benli, A. (2008). Turkish Labour Confederations and Turkey’s
Membership of the European Union. Economic and Industrial Democracy , 29 (3), 362-387.

Zeynep, A. (2009). Turkish Trade Unions and the European Boomerang. European Journal of
Turkish Studies , 9, 1-28.

Zurcher, E. J. (2006). Het moderne Turkije. Sun.


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