ILO Office for Turkey Releases a Book on 100 Years of ILO-Turkey Relations

Director Özcan: “Telling the story of 100 years of Turkish relations with ILO, the longest-standing organisation of our present international system, the book is a valuable work that casts light on an important but not well known process through historical documents.” Authored by Prof.Dr. Mesut Gülmez, the book is a reference that treats ILO-Turkey relations in historical perspective. The book also reveals certain documents and information on the period for the first time.

News | 02 December 2019
ANKARA (ILO News) The Office of the International Labour Organization (ILO) for Turkey released a book titled “Hundred Years of ILO-Turkey Relations 1919-2019” on the occasion of ILO Centenary.

Authored by Prof.Dr. Mesut Gülmez, a most prominent scholar on the world of work, the book is a reference jewel that deeply investigates a process not well known. It comes out as a work of extensive research effort, the book is both a reference for researchers that contains historical documents, and an essential reading on ILO-Turkey relations for aficionados.

Compiling official documents, correspondence and information from ILO archives into a coherent narrative of the history of ILO-Turkey relations, the book treats historic milestones and many matters by the author’s unique interpretation. It contains an abundance of documents and information not known to date on the common history of ILO and Turkey.

The book consists of two parts. The first part lays down chronologically the initial steps of forging relations between ILO and Turkey, correspondence exchanged, persons assigned, mutual visits, how the membership came into being, relations afterwards, obligations, conventions ratified and not, establishment of an ILO Office in Turkey, Turkish legislative work, which Turkish governments signed which conventions, so forth.

The second part presents snapshots of relations from the Turkish side including ratification and supervision processes, and the Governing Body.

Certain documents of the period revealed in the book for the first time

Foreworded by Mr. Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office for Turkey, and the author Prof.Dr. Mesut Gülmez, the book also brings certain documents and information of the period into daylight for the first time.

Making a statement on the book, Mr. Özcan noted that Prof.Dr. Gülmez worked in the archives of ILO, Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) and Turkish Ministry of Foreign affairs. Mr. Özcan said: “Founded around the same years, ILO and Republic of Turkey built relations initiated by an anonymous letter in 1920 which went deeper over the years. Narrating the story of 100 years of pursuing social justice, the book has been a valuable work that casts light on an important but not well known process through historical documents. We are happy to offer a highly valuable reference for the field.”

Underlining that since the first contact in the 1920s, the relations between ILO and Turkey had not only impacted certain spheres of life, but deeply impacted all segments of the society and all spheres of life, Mr. Özcan expressed that ILO and Turkey worked together on an ideal of social justice for all both in legislation and in practice.

Mr. Özcan said: ILO Conventions directly influenced all legislative pieces regulating the working life in Turkey ranging from individual and collective labour law to social security, from occupational safety and health to trade union laws. Further, such influence is not limited to legislation: ILO standards, policies and principles have profound impact on the establishment and functioning of all actors of the working life and labour market in Turkey, including but not limited to, the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services (as presently named), employers’ organisations and associations, Labour Inspection Board, CASGEM, ISKUR, SSI, social dialogue mechanism etc.”

He noted that taking a closer look into the relations of Turkey and ILO, the sole tripartite international organisation that brings together governments, workers’ and employers’ organisations, should provide a unique perspective to better understand and shape today and future. Mr. Özcan added that it was heart-warming and promising to see and recall how an international organisation could shape a country’s labour legislation from the scratch, encourage the establishment and growth of trade unions, and support the pursuit of rights and social justice for all workers.

Mr. Özcan, reminded on a final note that it took dedication and toilsome effort to translate a journey of 100 years into a narrative through historical documents and scripts, and thanked the author Prof.Dr. Gülmez.

Click here to review the book.