|Description||This briefing paper assesses the extent to which the situation of trade unions in Turkey has changed in recent years, in the context of the country’s bid to accede to the European Union. The evidence suggests that the Turkish state is yet to recognise the valuable role that trade unions have to play as necessary social partners within the democratic system. Several pieces of Turkish legislation remain at odds with its commitments to respect trade union rights under various international agreements. In practice, too, the Turkish authorities continue to violate the rights of employees – particularly those working in the public sector – to associate freely, to bargain collectively and to go on strike. The situation is particularly bad in the Kurdish regions of south-east Turkey, where violations of trade union rights are exacerbated by a de facto state of emergency, restrictions on expressions of Kurdish culture, and factors such as poverty, discrimination and displacement.