Contesting Working-Class Politics in Turkey: Social Transformations, Islam, and the Left

BEKMEN A. , Ongel F. S. , Hadiz V. R.

CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY, 2020 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


This article examines transition in Kocaeli, an industrial city in the north-western part of Turkey, away from left-wing politics and trade unionism in the early 1970s, and toward Islamic politics from the mid-1990s onwards. It does do by investigating the ideological, political, and social transformation of the working class. Based on fieldwork involving in-depth, semistructured interviews conducted with current and former workers and trade union leaders, the article analyzes the various aspects of, and limits to, the hegemonic relationships between workers and left-wing politics on the one hand, and with Islamic politics, on the other.