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The Global Crisis, Flexicurity and Working Shorter Hours in European Countries and Turkey

Seyma Ipek Kostekli

By globalisation we understand the rapid process of transformation that is intensifying mutual interaction among all parts of the earth. The current global crisis, which we consider to have begun in the second half of 2007 and which has left its imprint on the last three years, has thrust the world into a chaotic environment.The labour market is, without a doubt, the area in which the severity and devastation of the crisis have been felt most intensely. Most of those who have thought about and studied the subject agree that the only sound way out of the crisis lies in real, job-creating growth. Stable growth of this kind is seen as dependent on developing the capacity for creating jobs while largely preserving the flexibility of economies. Turkey was relatively little affected by the crisis and is continuing to grow following an inevitable one-year interruption. But Turkey has unfortunately not made progress in the area of labour market flexibility. There is no doubt that Turkey's labour market has a different structure and different dynamics from those of the labour markets of all other countries in the world. In this study, the concept of Working Time Reduction (WTR) in such a flexicurity is examined in connection with labour market reform, also taking into account the evolving definition of employment. First, the increasing importance of the concept of flexicurity is considered. Then, the actual situation with regard to flexicurity in Turkey, ie, practice and implementation, is examined. Third, WTR policies are analyzed in terms of implementation on an OECD and EU basis. In the light of these trends, the situation in Turkey is examined in the fourth and final section and alternative ways of reducing working hours and their impact on employment are investigated.

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