Although they do not always argue for the same economic policies, both the Istanbul-centered Turkish Industrialists’ and Entrepreneurs’ Association (TÜSİAD) and the Anatolian-centered Independent Industrialists’ and Entrepreneurs’ Association (MÜSİAD) pursue reasonable policies. Both associations advocate not only for privatization, development of the market economy and the integration of Turkey into the world economy, but also for liberal reforms, human rights, democratization, reform of the Turkish ethnic-nationalist concept of citizenship, and the establishment of the rule of law. From time to time, these groups issue reports, proposals and positions on certain issues such as education, health, security and constitutional reform, but a few organizations are responsible for the majority of such opinions. It is also questionable to what extent the government considers these reports.
When it comes to social and labor rights, both organizations appear to be more skeptical, but they do not oppose unionism as such. It is of particular interest that TÜSİAD, which had always been close to the secularist state elite and the state ideology, today also takes the cultural rights of the more conservative majority of the population into account. It has managed, for the first time, to establish dialogue and cooperation with MÜSİAD, which is regarded as the mouthpiece of the more religiously conservative entrepreneurs of Anatolia.
Among the labor unions, the ideological split between secularist unions like KESK and DİSK and the more Muslim conservative Hak-İş still tends to prevent common action, leading to a waste of energy that might better be spent in advocacy of the social and economic rights of the working class. Additionally, Turkish unions tend to concentrate on symbolic struggles such as the fight for the right to demonstrate at a particular square in Istanbul on May 1, instead of for social and economic policies holding the potential for direct benefit to their members.