Basın-İş was one of the five unions that helped lay the foundation for the establishment of the Confederation of Progressive Unions of Turkey (DİSK) on 13 February 1967, together with Maden-İş and Lastik-İş, which split off from Türk-İş, as well as Gıda-İş and Türk Maden-İş, two independent unions.
One of the foundational principles of DİSK, Turkey’s first and only representative of class- and mass-based unionism, is independence from the state and capital. Unions connected to DİSK have succeeded in attracting the attention of the working class through its victories, which include successes in collective bargaining agreements and social rights.
DİSK does not restrict its activities to its members alone, but has fought for the rights of all oppressed and exploited segments of society. The confederation became a target for its involvement in the 15-16 June Resistance, a mass labor action in 1970; May Days; resistance against the State Security Courts (DGM); demonstrations against fascism, as well as rallies for democracy. In the wake of this activity, DİSK General-Secretary Kemal Türkler was assassinated, while 37 people were killed when contra-guerillas opened fire on May Day celebrations in 1977 in Taksim Square. Following the 12 September 1980 military coup, the confederation’s administrators were thrown in jail or murdered; at the same time, the organization’s activities were prohibited while its assets were seized. Some 263 administrators and three experts from DİSK were sentenced to 2,053 years in prison by the junta’s courts.
DİSK succeeded in resuming its activities in 1992, one year after a court struck down previous restrictions and acquitted administrators. Since then, DİSK has been spreading the struggle for labor and democracy with 19 unions operating in 18 work sectors.
Following new regulations passed by the Labor and Social Security Ministry regarding work sectors, DİSK Basın-İş has begun operations in new fields. Seeking to organize rather than just gain new members, Basın-İş has assumed the task of explaining and discussing the union struggle.
One of Basın-İş’s current goals is to organize a greater degree among members of the Platform for Freedom to Journalists.