About Us

Research Centre of DİSK (DİSK-AR)

DİSK (Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey) Research Centre (DİSK-AR) was established in 1978 in order to publish scientific studies and publications on the problems of the working class and labour in Turkey. DİSK-AR is currently an autonomous research centre operating at DİSK Headquarter. DİSK-AR continues its studies with the contribution and support of its own researchers, as well as social scientists from universities, independent researchers and experts from member unions.


From the establishment of DİSK (1967) to the 5th General Assembly in 1975, it was observed that research studies were limited. During this period, DİSK prepared a study on the Common Market, as well as the minimum wage. However, these studies were mostly prepared with the contributions of Maden-İş union experts.

Historian Prof. Dr. Mete Tunçay worked as a researcher between 1972-1973.

DİSK has taken steps towards institutionalizing research studies since the early 1970s. Accordingly, in March 1972, it was decided to establish an economic consultancy unit at DİSK and to offer this task to coordinate with the research departments of member organizations to Attila Karaosmanoğlu, former Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs. However, Karaosmanoğlu did not accept this offer. Then, Mete Tunçay started to work as a researcher at DİSK on June 1, 1972. Tunçay worked as a researcher for a year and left in May 1973.

Founding of DİSK-AR

In 1976, Professor Sadun Aren started to work as a consultant at DİSK to carry out research studies. However, during this period, DİSK research studies could not be institutionalized. The founding of the DİSK Research Institute came to the fore after the 6th General Assembly of DİSK held in 1977. Aren thought it would be beneficial to establish such an institute in Ankara. The foundation studies of the Institute, which started in June 1978, have gained an institutional character since the beginning of 1979.   The first expert staff of DİSK-AR included Hikmet Seçim, Barış Tütün, Gülay Türkyılmaz (Toksöz) and Gül Sarp, as well as Sadun Aren.

Professor Sadun Aren (1922-2008), founder of DİSK-AR.

During the period between the founding of the DİSK Research Institute and the coup of September 12, 1980, it has worked on various issues, prepared reports and published.

The 1978 Economic Report published in 1979 mainly focused on the positions of the working class and other labouring groups in the income distribution. The report also gave a wide coverage to the “Social Agreement” that the Ecevit Government signed with Türk-İş. In the report entitled 1979 Economic Report published in June 1980, the effects of economic developments, especially income distribution, on the working class were examined.

The first research book published by DİSK-AR in 1979.

The Institute has given seminars on various subjects and prepared brochure texts on some subjects. Another work of the Research Institute is the creation of a library where “all publications and studies that may be needed for the working-class movement” are compiled. In the library, which started to be formed with 600 books brought from DISK headquarters in the establishment, 2,500 publications were collected in a short time. Supported by archives and news clippings, the library has become an important information centre. However, these publications were refuted in the barracks and court warehouses due to the effort to search for evidence for the crimes they alleged everywhere with the September 12 coup. All the savings of the DİSK Research Institute were destroyed by the September 12th coup. The founder and first director of DİSK-AR, Professor Sadun Aren, was tried in the case of DİSK and spent a long time in prison.

The New Period of DİSK-AR

DİSK Research Institute was re-established in May 1992 with the short name DİSK-AR. The new period, which started under the direction of the economist Mustafa Sönmez, continued in its new headquarters in Taksim, Istanbul since August 1992. In the 1990s, as a specialist in DİSK-AR staff, Güventürk Görgülü, Cüneyt Altunç, Ahmet Demirel, Ayşe Nur Erten, Nesrin Sungur Ertel, Ahmet Çakmak and İbrahim Anıl took charge.

The first publishing of the DİSK-AR was the DİSK-AR Bulletin, which received great interest. The newsletter, reports on various topics and monthly livelihood indexes also received great attention and appreciation in the media.

Economist Mustafa Sönmez assumed the responsibility of DİSK-AR when it was reopened in the early 1990s.

DİSK-AR studies in the 2000s was coordinated and edited by Assoc. Prof. F. Serkan Öngel and Professor Aziz Çelik. DİSK-AR studies were carried out with the efforts and contributions of many scientists and researchers during this period. DİSK-AR, which continues to work with the contributions of the scientific world, established a DİSK-AR advisory council during this period. During this period, DİSK-AR journal was published in five issues with a comprehensive content, as well as research reports.

During this period, regular monthly unemployment and employment reports started to be published. The alternative unemployment calculations of DİSK-AR have started to be announced regularly. It published various reports on the problems of the working class and the labour movement, as well as regular reports such as unionization and collective bargaining reports, as well as annual minimum wage surveys.

In 2017 a survey was conducted and the survey results was published as a book by name Appearance of the Working Class in Turkey. The reports prepared between 2016-2019 were published as a book called Labour Studies (2016-2019). DİSK-AR also started preparing the DİSK History book on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of DİSK. The first volume of DİSK History was published in February 2020 and second volume in 2022.

DİSK-AR continues its studies under the name of DİSK Research Center (DİSK-AR) at DİSK headquarters.

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