South-East Europe Review for Labour and Social Affairs vol:13 issue:3 pages:327-342
In the context of the EU–Turkey negotiations, the role of the social partners in Turkey’s gains importance but basic knowledge about these partners is lacking. This research tries first to draw a socio-demographic picture of the Turkish labour elite in the light of R. Michels “iron law of oligarchy”. Second, the relations between Turkish labour confederations and the political parties are researched. The results of the research confirm Michels’ (1915) theory partly. We observe a maturation of the confederations and an institutionalization of power. We also observe differences in professionalization of the elites. But the sector seems to be a more important factor in explaining the differences. Next, the research confirms roughly the traditional relations between parties and confederations. Türk-İş would be most aligned to CHP, Hak-İş to AKP, DISK to numerous parties of the left. For the public sector, KESK seems to be closely aligned to ÖDP and BDP, Kamu-Sen to MHP and Memur-Sen to SP and AKP.