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The Dynamics of Working-Class Politics in Early Republican Turkey: Language, Identity, and Experience*

  • Yİğİt Akın (a1)


The years between the late 1940s and late 1950s constituted a critical period in the historical formation of the working class in Turkey. During that period, Turkey experienced a number of structural transformations. It also saw the elaboration of a new discourse on the working class by labor representatives, organizations, and by workers themselves. That discourse provided the workers and their organizations with the channels necessary to articulate their demands when other forms of expression were considered ineffective and dangerous. Using the language of equality, justice, and human rights, workers appealed for improvement in their status both at the workplace and within society at large. This new political culture and language was built on the critical assessment of the corporatist construction of labor relations and the rejection of the idea that employers and workers were members of the same (national) family. Based on worker and union newspapers, the primary objective of this essay is to discuss the basic components and characteristic features of this new discourse and its place in working-class politics in early republican Turkey.

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I am grateful to Kyle Heatherly, Can Nacar, and Emre Sencer for their thoughtful comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this article.



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1. Neville Kirk, “History, Language, Ideas and Post-Modernism: A Materialist View”, Social History, 19 (1994), pp. 221–240, 233; Joan Scott, “On Language, Gender, and Working-Class History”, in Joan Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (New York, 1988), pp. 53–67; William H. Sewell, Jr, “Towards a Post-Materialist Rhetoric for Labor History”, in Lenard R. Berlanstein (ed.), Rethinking Labor History: Essays on Discourse and Class Analysis (Urbana, IL, 1993), pp. 15–38. For the pitfalls and promises of this approach, see also Geoff Eley and Keith Nield, The Future of Class in History: What’s Left of the Social? (Ann Arbor, MI, 2007); Kathleen Canning, “Feminist History after the Linguistic Turn: Historicizing Discourse and Experience”, Signs, 19 (1994), pp. 368–404.

2. Marc W. Steinberg, “Culturally Speaking: Finding A Commons between Post-Structuralism and the Thompsonian Perspective”, Social History, 21 (1996), pp. 193–214, 195. See also Donald Reid, “Reflections on Labor History and Language”, in Berlanstein, Rethinking Labor History, pp. 39–54.

3. Laura L. Frader, “Dissent over Discourse: Labor History, Gender, and the Linguistic Turn”, History and Theory, 34 (1995), pp. 213–230, 230. See also Geoff Eley, “Is All the World a Text? From Social History to the History of Society Two Decades Later”, in Terrence J. McDonald (ed.), The Historic Turn in the Human Sciences (Ann Arbor, MI, 1996), pp. 193–243, 218.

4. For a general overview, see Kemal H. Karpat, Turkey’s Politics: The Transition to a Multi-Party System (Princeton, NJ, 1959); Cem Eroğul, “The Establishment of Multiparty Rule: 1945–71”, in Irvin C. Schick and Ertuğrul Ahmet Tonak (eds), Turkey in Transition: New Perspectives (New York, 1987), pp. 101–118; Feroz Ahmad, The Turkish Experiment in Democracy, 1950–1975 (London, 1977); M. Asım Karaömerlioğlu, “Turkey’s ‘Return’ to Multi-Party Politics: A Social Interpretation”, East European Quarterly, 40 (2006), pp. 89–107.

5. Zvi Yehuda Hershlag, Turkey: An Economy in Transition (The Hague, 1958), pp. 177–277; William Hale, The Political and Economic Development of Modern Turkey (London, 1981), pp. 86–113; Çağlar Keyder, State and Class in Turkey: A Study in Capitalist Development (London, 1987), pp. 117–140; Tolga Tören, Yeniden Yapılanan Dünya Ekonomisinde Marshall Planı ve Türkiye Uygulaması (Istanbul, 2007); Şevket Pamuk, “Economic Change in Twentieth Century Turkey: Is the Glass More Than Half Full?”, in Reşat Kasaba (ed.), The Cambridge History of Turkey IV: Turkey in the Modern World (Cambridge, 2008), pp. 266–300, 281–282.

6. For more on the policies toward labor in this period, see Yıldırım Koç, “Demokrat Parti, İşçiler ve Sendikalar”, in Türkiye’de İşçiler ve Sendikalar (Tarihten Sayfalar) (Ankara, 2000), pp. 35–85. See also Fatih Güngör, “1946–1960 Döneminde Türkiye’de Sendikacılık Hareketi ve Demokrasi”, in Alpaslan Işıklı (ed.), Türkiye’de Sendikacılık Hareketleri İçinde Demokrasi Kavramının Gelişimi (Ankara, 1994), pp. 131–190; M. Görkem Doğan, “Governmental Involvement in the Establishment and Performance of the Trade Unions during the Transition to Multi Party Politics: The Case of the Worker’s Bureau of the Republican People’s Party” (M.A. thesis, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 2003); Ahmet Makal, “Türkiye’nin Çok Partili Yaşama Geçiş Sürecinde Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi ve Sendikalar: 1946–1950”, in Ahmet Makal, Ameleden İşçiye: Erken Cumhuriyet Dönemi Emek Tarihi Çalışmaları (Istanbul, 2007), pp. 213–265.

7. For a similar interpretation, see Hakan Koçak, “50’leri İşçi Sınıfı Oluşumunun Kritik Bir Uğrağı Olarak Yeniden Okumak”, Çalışma ve Toplum, 18 (2008), pp. 69–85; Sinan Yıldırmaz, “Demokrat Parti ve Dönemi: Sol Tarihyazımında ‘Kayıp’ Zamanın İzinde”, Praksis, 18 (2008), pp. 23–42.

8. Cahit Talas, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nde Sosyal Politika Meseleleri (1920–1960) (Ankara, 1960), p. 23; Yıldırım Koç, “1947 Sendikalar Yasası”, Mülkiyeliler Birliği Dergisi, 121 (1990), pp. 10–14; Kemal Sülker, Türkiye Sendikacılık Tarihi (Istanbul, 1987), pp. 54–94 and passim.

9. Ahmet Makal, Türkiye’de Çok Partili Dönemde Çalışma İlişkileri, 1946–1963 (Ankara, 2002), p. 276.

10. For a detailed analysis of this phenomenon, see Gavin D. Brockett, “Betwixt and Between: Turkish Print Culture and the Emergence of a National Identity, 1945–1954” (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 2003); Kemal Karpat, “The Mass Media: Turkey”, in Robert E. Ward and Dankwart A. Rustow (eds), Political Modernization in Japan and Turkey (Princeton, NJ, 1964), pp. 255–282, 277–282.

11. For more information on the emergence and development of the worker/union press, see “Sendika Basını”, in Türkiye Sendikacılık Ansiklopedisi, 3 vols (Istanbul, 1996), III, pp. 12–16.

12. Celal Ülkü, “Gazetemizi Niçin Çıkarıyoruz?”, Sendika Yolu, 1 (18 August 1948), pp. 1, 4. The Sendika Yolu was published between August 1948 and November 1949 in Nazilli. It was the official newsletter of the Nazilli Textile Industry Workers’ Union (Nazilli Mensucat Sanayii İşçileri Sendikası). On Sendika Yolu, see Türkiye Sendikacılık Ansiklopedisi, III, p. 35.

13. Occasionally, competition between rival unions also played an important role in this aspect. In order to attract more workers to their side, union newspapers tried hard to give the impression that they were highly sensitive to workers and their demands.

14. İlkay Sunar, “Populism and Patronage: Democrat Party and its Legacy in Turkey”, in State, Society and Democracy in Turkey (Istanbul, 2004), pp. 121–134; Reşat Kasaba, “Populism and Democracy in Turkey, 1946–1961”, in Ellis Goldberg, Reşat Kasaba, and Joel Migdal (eds), Rules and Rights in the Middle East (Seattle, WA, 1993), pp. 43–68.

15. See, for example, the rhetoric of some trade unions on the right to strike and collective bargaining; Kemal Sülker, Türkiye’de Grev Hakkı ve Grevler (Istanbul, 1976), pp. 81–90.

16. For the Cold War and anti-communism in Turkey, see Derya Çağlar, Hayali Komünizm: Soğuk Savaş’ın Türkiye Söylemleri (Istanbul, 2008); Yüksel Taşkın, “Anti-Komünizm ve Türk Milliyetçiliği: Endişe ve Pragmatizm”, in Tanıl Bora (ed.), Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düşünce IV: Milliyetçilik (Istanbul, 2002), pp. 618–635.

17. Gavin D. Brockett, “The Legend of ‘The Turk’ in Korea: Popular Perceptions of the Korean War and Their Importance to a Turkish National Identity”, War & Society, 22 (2004), pp. 109–142.

18. For instance, one of the first working-class organizations founded in the aftermath of the war, Türkiye İşçiler Derneği [Turkey Workers’ Society], announced its projected goals as to endeavor “to maintain the material and spiritual comfort of workers and to give them the honor they deserve” (işçilerin maddi, manevi rahatlarını temine hizmet etmek ve işçilerin layık olduğu şerefi canlandırmak) (my emphasis); see Sülker, Türkiye Sendikacılık Tarihi, p. 40.

19. This new direction in working-class discourse was not limited to the content of the material published in these newspapers. It can also be observed in writers’ careful use of language. In place of the more disparaging amele or ırgat, for example, labor newspapers always preferred the term işçi, with its connotation of “skilled laborer”. Indeed, the Workers’ Group at the Izmir Economic Congress of 1923 proposed to designate male and female workers as işçi instead of the commonly used amele; Ahmet Gündüz Ökçün, Türkiye İktisat Kongresi 1923 – Izmir: Haberler, Belgeler, Yorumlar (Ankara, 1971), p. 430. By and large, however, this proposal remained on paper.

20. A columnist in Sendika Yolu, for instance, wrote that society owed every single achievement in the world to the “creative power of the worker”. In the remainder of this interesting article, the writer gave the example of Sinan the Architect, who was nothing but “a simple but dignified Turkish worker”; Baha Macit Karabağlı, “Medeniyeti Kuran ve Hayatımızı Koruyan Adam”, Sendika Yolu, 2 (25 August 1948), p. 3.

21. “[…] nüfusumuzun yüzde seksen beşini teşkil eden işçi kütlesi ya sefalete sürüklenecek ve dolayısiyle korkunç bir şekilde vefiyat başlayacaktı, veyahut hicret etmek mecburiyetinde kalacaktı”; G.İ.P, “İşçi ve Asgari Ücret”, Güney İşçi Postası, 22 (10 March 1952), p. 1 (my emphasis). Güney İşçi Postası was published in Adana between 1951 and March 1952 on a weekly basis, and ran to twenty-two issues. Yüksel Akkaya, “Çukurova’da Sendikacılık ve İşçi Eylemleri, 1923–1960”, Kebikeç, 5 (1997), pp. 183–200, 192.

22. “Başlarken”, İşçi Dünyası, 1 (1 February 1953). The first issue of İşçi Dünyası was published in Ankara in February 1953. The newspaper adopted a policy of publication in line with the newly founded Türk-İş; Türkiye Sendikacılık Ansiklopedisi, II, pp. 102–103.

23. This is, indeed, reminiscent of E.P. Thompson’s oft-quoted dictum that “class is a social and cultural formation (often finding institutional expression) which cannot be defined abstractly, or in isolation, but only in terms of relationship with other classes; and, ultimately, the definition can only be made in the medium of time – that is, action and reaction, change and conflict”; E.P. Thompson, “The Peculiarities of the English”, in Ralph Miliband and John Saville (eds), Socialist Register 1965 (London, 1965), p. 357 (original emphasis).

24. “Hollanda Şirketi Esir mi Çalıştırıyor? Zonguldak Liman İnşaatı Hazin Bir Durumda”, İşçi Dünyası, 1 (1 February 1953), p. 1. Labor disputes with foreign firms became heavily charged with emotion as the acts of these firms were also perceived as offensive to national pride.

25. “Sürdükleri müreffeh hayatı yaşamalarında işçilerinin payı yokmuş gibi bu feragatkâr ve fedakâr insanların ellerinden son lokmalarını da almak için her türlü şeytaniyete başvuruyorlar”; Yenihamle, “Ne İstiyorlar?”, Güney İşçi Postası, 19 (11 February 1952), p. 2.

26. Ülkü, “Gazetemizi Niçin Çıkarıyoruz?”, p. 4.

27. “Hususi teşebbüse yer verilmiyor diye bağıran bir sürü insanın, daha hala insan haklarını tanımamak suretile istismarcı bir zihniyet içinde yüzüp durmaları, bu memleketin iktisadiyatı ve kendileri için çok hazindir.” “Mensucat Sanayii İşçileri Sendikasında Yapılan Mühüm Toplantı”, İşçi Sesi (Bursa), 9 (23 October 1951), p. 1. İşçi Sesi was published in Bursa initially by a private publisher, then by the Bursa Textile Industry Workers’ Union [Bursa Mensucat Sanayii İşçileri Sendikası]. A total of thirty-four issues of the newspaper were published between 1951 and 1952.

28. “Ancak bunların içerisinde o kadar muhteris ruhlu olanları var ki, Eskişehir senin desen yine doymaz. Konya Ovası’nı da kendine mülk etmeye çalışır”; İşçinin Sesi, 4 (29 October 1951), p. 1. İşçinin Sesi was published in Eskişehir between September 1951 and December 1954 on a fortnightly basis. Its owner and editor-in-chief was Rıza Tetik, who was one of the leaders of Eskişehir Railway Workers’ Union; Türkiye Sendikacılık Ansiklopedisi, III, p. 214.

29. In December 1947, a commission formed by MPs recorded the “innovative” methods used by employers to circumvent labor laws and regulations; Bazı Bölgelerdeki Fabrika, İşyerleri ve İşçilerin Genel Durumu Hakkında BMM Çalışma Komisyonu’ndan Bir Grubun Hazırladığı Rapor (30 December 1947), Prime Ministry Republican Archive CHP Catalog 490.01/728.495.5. For similar observations, see Orhan Tuna, Grev Hakkı: İş Mücadelelerinde Yeri ve Ehemmiyeti (Istanbul, 1951), p. 55.

30. “Kanun mu Yoksa Keyfi Muamele mi Hakim? İşyerinde İşverenlerin İşçiyi Hangi Şartlarla Çalıştırdıkları Meydana Çıkıyor?”, İşçi Sesi (Bursa), 11 (6 November 1951), pp. 1, 3.

31. Türkiye Sendikacılık Ansiklopedisi, II, p. 567. The Saraçhane Meeting of 1961, which more than one hundred thousand workers attended, was arguably the greatest mass demonstration in Turkish working-class history until that time.

32. But they also outspokenly criticized government policies. For worker dissatisfaction with the government’s draft bill on “the right to strike”, see Sülker, Türkiye’de Grev Hakkı, pp. 179–186.

33. Sabri Türkozan, “Sendikalar Kırtasiyecilikten Şikayetçidir”, İşçi Sesi (Bursa), 8 (15 October 1951), p. 2.

34. “Mensucat Sanayii İşçileri Sendikasında Yapılan Mühüm Toplantı”, İşçi Sesi (Bursa), 9 (23 October 1951), p. 3.

35. “Ne efsunkâr imişsin ah hey içtimai adalet/Esir-i aşıkın olduk gerçi boğulduk sefaletten!”; Hasan Özgüneş, “Ne Efsunkâr Imişsin Ah Hey Içtimai Adalet”, İşçi Sesi (Adana), 25 (13 December 1950), p. 2. Actually, these verses carried a reference to Namık Kemal’s well-known poem Hürriyet Kasidesi. Similarly, in a possibly fictitious interview, a female worker, Nefise, responded to a question by saying she would light a candle for the saints if she came across the Labor Agency [Çalışma Teşkilatı]; “O Teşkilatı Bir Görsem Evliyaya Mum Adardım!”, İşçi Sesi (Bursa), 12 (13 November 1951), pp. 2, 4.

36. For the corporatist orientations of the early Republican regime, see Ahmet Makal, “Türkiye’de Tek Parti Dönemi Korporatizm Tartışmaları”, Toplum ve Bilim, 93 (2002), pp. 173–199; Aykut Kansu, “Türkiye’de Korporatist Düşünce ve Korporatizm Uygulamaları”, in Ahmet İnsel (ed.), Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Düşünce II: Kemalizm (Istanbul, 2001), pp. 253–267; Hakkı Uyar, “Devletin İşçi Sınıfı ve Örgütlenme Girişimi: CHP İzmir İşçi ve Esnaf Cemiyetleri Birliği (1935)”, Tarih ve Toplum, 160 (1997), pp. 14–20; Yıldırım Koç, “1923–1950 Döneminde CHP’nin İşçi Sınıfı Korkusu”, Mülkiyeliler Birliği Dergisi, 170 (1994), pp. 43–44. See also Yüksel Akkaya and Fatih Güngör, “Düzen ve Kalkınma Arayışları İçinde Türkiye’de Sendikacılık ve Milliyetçilik”, in Tarih ve Milliyetçilik: 1. Ulusal Tarih Kongresi – Bildiriler (Mersin, 1997), pp. 400–419.

37. İşçiye Hizmet, published in Izmir, for example, criticized union representatives who used phrases like “lütfen” [please],” “merhameten” [compassionately], and “Allah rızası için” [for God’s sake] when dealing with employers; B.A., “Sendika Basamak Değildir”, İşçiye Hizmet, 3 (21 May 1953), p. 1. The first issue of İşçiye Hizmet [Service to the Worker] was published in May 1953 in Izmir. However, we have no information on how long the newspaper continued publication.

38. Türkiye Sendikacılık Ansiklopedisi, II, p. 567.

39. See for example “İşçilerin Kalkınmasını İstiyorsak Bu Dava Ele Alınmalıdır”, Sendika Yolu, 32 (17 August 1949), p. 2; “Hastalık ve İstirahat Yevmiyeleri”, İş Yolu (Karabük), 18 (1 October 1952), p. 1.

40. Kemal Üre, “Türk İşçisi”, Sendika Yolu, 1 (18 August 1948), p. 3.

41. Sülker, Türkiye’de Grev Hakkı, p. 165.

42. “[…] imtiyazsız sınıfsız bir millet olduğumuzdan haberleri yok mudur? Şüphesiz ki vardır. […] Bir işçinin evinde bir tencere yemek kaynatabilmek için neye ihtiyacı varsa, diğerinin de aynıdır”; Muhittin Gediklioğlu, “Yazık Oldu Emeklere”, Güney İşçi Postası, 19 (11 February 1952), p. 1.

43. “Nasıl çalışıyoruz? Nasıl çalıştırılıyoruz? Bu çalıştırma insanca mı? Kimin umurunda?”; M. Hasip Gürak, “Enerji Hapları”, İşçi Gücü, 38 (18 June 1953), p. 3. A slightly earlier study had pointed to the poor living and working conditions among tramway workers employed at the IETT; Ziyaeddin Fahri Fındıkoğlu, İstanbul’da Şehir İçi İnsan Nakli Meselesi ve İstanbul’da Tramvay İşçilerinin İçtimai Durumu (Istanbul, 1949). İşçi Gücü was published in November 1951 by the Istanbul Electricity, Gas, and Motor Vehicle Workers’ Union [İstanbul Elektrik, Gaz ve Motorlu Taşıt İşçileri Sendikası]. The newspaper continued publication until December 1979; Türkiye Sendikacılık Ansiklopedisi, II, p. 102.

44. “İşçiler hiç bir nizam ve zaman tanınmadan gelişigüzel, bazan 17–18 saat çalıştırılmakta, bir gün dahi istirahat verilmemektedir. İsteyenler kovulmaktadır. İşçilerin hayatı çimentolar üzerinde gece gündüz heder olup gitmektedir.” “Mensucat Sanayii İşçileri Sendikasında Yapılan Mühüm Toplantı”, İşçi Sesi (Bursa), 9 (23 October 1951), p. 3.

45. “Pazar Günü Ücret Ödenir Mi?”, İşçi Sesi (Bursa), 15 (4 December 1951), p. 1.

46. “Güney İşçi Sendikları Federasyonu Delegelerinin İstanbul’da Toplanan Türk-İş Kongresine Yaptıkları Kanun Teklifi”, İşçi Haberleri, 14 (19 August 1953), p. 4. İşçi Haberleri [Worker’s News] was published between April 1953 and January 1954 on a weekly basis (it ran to thirty-three issues). It was the official newspaper of the Sümerbank and Milli Mensucat Factories Workers’ Union [Sümerbank ve Milli Mensucat Fabrikaları İşçileri Sendikası] which had been founded in Adana; Yüksel Akkaya, “Çukurova’da Sendikacılık”, pp. 192–193.

47. “İstihsal yüksekte, satış yerinde/Yine zavallıyız, yara derinde/Derdimiz söylenir dillerde dilde/Adalet derdi var, derdim pirimde”; Mustafa Kalaycıgil, “Derdim Pirimde”, Gayret: Kayseri Tekstil Sanayii İşçileri Sendikası Organı, 34 (9 June 1951), p. 4. Gayret began publication in September 1950 as the official newsletter of the Kayseri Textile Industry Workers’ Union [Kayseri Tekstil Sanayii İşçileri Sendikası].

48. T., “Merinos’da Bir Saat”, İşçi Sesi (Bursa), 14 (27 November 1951), pp. 2, 4.

49. Sendikacı, “En Haklı İsteğimiz: İşçi Temettü İkramiyesi”, İş Yolu (Karabük), 22 (1 December 1952), p. 1. İş Yolu started publication in January 1952 in Karabük. It was the official newspaper of the Iron and Steel Workers’ Union [Demir Çelik İşçileri Sendikası].

50. Cevdet Şigay, “12’inci Yıl”, Sendika Yolu, 36 (15 October 1949), p. 1.

51. For instance, complaining about the prevalence of beating and other forms of physical mistreatment, Tevfik Erdem likened the Sümerbank Nazilli Textile Plant to the “civilization with whip” (kamçılı medeniyet); Tevfik Erdem, “Kısımlarda Eli Kamçılı Beyler”, Sendika Yolu, 8 (6 October 1948), p. 2. On this point, see also Can Nacar, “Ekmeğin Yokluğunu Bilirim, Kıtlığı Gördüm: İkinci Dünya Savaşı Yıllarında Kentsel Alanlarda Emekçiler”, Praksis, 16 (2007), pp. 195–217.

52. “Gaziantep Mensucat Sanayi İşçilerinin Toplantısı”, İşçi Sesi (Adana), 25 (13 December 1950), p. 2. The first issue of İşçi Sesi was published in Adana in June 1949 by the Çukurova Textile Industry Workers’ Union [Çukurova Mensucat Sanayii İşçileri Sendikası]. Over two years, İşçi Sesi published a total of twenty-four issues. For more on İşçi Sesi, see Yüksel Akkaya, “Yerel Sendikal Basında İşçi Sesi Örneği”, Toplumsal Tarih, 53 (1998), pp. 39–44. The same newspaper recounted another incident when the local gendarmerie unit raided the Rasim Dokur Factory in Mersin at the request of the owner of the factory. Soldiers bound the hands of eight workers and clubbed the rest of them. The newspaper also reported that the prosecutor and judge said “Let’s get rid of these hooligans”. Workers sent telegrams to the Prime Minister, the President of the Parliament, and the Minister of Domestic Affairs to protest these unlawful acts; “Bir Kaymakam ve Jandarma Komutanının Marifetleri: Memlekette Kanun Yok mu?”, İşçi Sesi (Adana), 25 (13 December 1950), pp. 1, 3.

53. “İşçileri Paçavralıkla İtham Eden Müdürün Vazifesine Son Verildi”, İşçi Sesi (Adana), 25 (13 December 1950), p. 2.

54. “Yaşayan hortlak”, İş Yolu (Karabük), 30 (1 April 1953), p. 2.

55. N. Köklü, “Fakat Alem Berdevam”, İşçiye Hizmet, 4 (28 May 1953), p. 4.

56. M. Sait Yanlı, “Kadın İşçilerimize Hürmet Edelim”, İşçiye Hizmet, 2 (14 May 1953), p. 3.

57. “Çok hakir görülür işçi kızlar bizde/ Alay ediliyor kara talihimizle/ Manikür yok, oje yok, ruj yok hayalimizde/ Yeneceğiz kara bahtı istikbalimizle”; Ayşe Yüksel, “İşçi Kızlar”, Sendika Yolu, 1 (18 August 1948), p. 2.

58. “İç Hizmetler Şefliğinin Nazar-ı Dikkatine”, Gayret: Kayseri Tekstil Sanayii İşçileri Sendikası Organı, 35 (16 June 1951), pp. 3–4.

59. “Hereke Fabrikası İhzar Dairesi İşçilerine Prim Verilmiyor: Bu İşçilerin Hakları Ödenmelidir”, İşçi Sesi (Bursa), 11 (6 November 1951), p. 2.

60. “İşçi bu devletin emektarı değil mi?”; Rıza Tetik, “Kanunda Eşitlik Bekliyoruz!”, İşçinin Sesi, 8 (30 December 1951), p. 1.

61. “İdare halkı ikiye ayırmış, öz evlat memur, üvey evlat işçi. İşçi beş liraya şeker bulamaz, memur 120 kuruşa şeker yer. İşçi sırtına giymeye kaput bezi bulamaz, memurların kendilerine elbiselik kumaş ailelerine mantoluk kumaş verilir. İşçi sabahları ocağa giderken ekmek yerine mısır haşlaması lapa yer, memurlar birinci nevi ekmek yer”; Ramazan Karameşe, “Ücretli İş Mükellefiyeti ve Türk İşçisinin Bu Yolda Harcandığı Günler”, Eskişehir İşçi Postası, 37 (18 April 1953), p. 2. Eskişehir İşçi Postası started life as the official newspaper of the Sakarya Trade Unions’ Federation in 1952. It is not clear how long the newspaper continued to be published.

62. For more on the negative impact of World War II on workers, see Mehmet Şehmus Güzel, “İkinci Dünya Savaşı’nda İşçiler ve Sermaye”, Mülkiyeliler Birliği Dergisi, 150 (1992), pp. 31–41; Can Nacar, “Everyday Experiences of Working Class People in the Second World War Years” (M.A. thesis, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 2004); Ahmet Makal, “65. Yılında Milli Korunma Kanunu, Çalışma İlişkileri ve İş Mükellefiyeti Üzerine Bir İnceleme”, Toplum ve Bilim, 102 (2005), pp. 55–91; Murat Metinsoy, İkinci Dünya Savaşı’nda Türkiye: Savaş ve Gündelik Yaşam (Istanbul, 2007).

* I am grateful to Kyle Heatherly, Can Nacar, and Emre Sencer for their thoughtful comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this article.

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International Review of Social History
  • ISSN: 0020-8590
  • EISSN: 1469-512X
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