“Turkey has close to 60 Thousand Cooperatives in 40 Different Categories, with 6.6 Million Members”

Human Development Foundation (İNGEV) has issued a report titled “Strong Cooperatives for a Social Solidarity Economy", outlining the current situation and presenting 9 Social Policy Proposals for stronger cooperatives. The report finds that, according to 2020 data, there are 60 thousand cooperatives in nearly 40 categories, with a total of 6.6 million members in Turkey.

The third joint study of İNGEV, Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Center (İPM) and ActHuman Social Policy Initiative is the “Strong Cooperatives for a Social Solidarity Economy” report, which presents the current situation as well as examples of cooperativism across the world and Europe, and compares these with the situation in Turkey. The report also provides suggestions such as a simpler and freer legislation, and efforts to raise awareness for strong cooperatives.

60 Thousand Cooperatives Have 6.6 Million Members
  • In Turkey, according to 2020 figures, there are 60 thousand cooperatives in nearly 40 categories, with a total of 6.6 million members.
  • The number of cooperatives falling under the purview of the Ministry of Trade is 12,487. 70% of these cooperatives are active. These approximately 8,700 active cooperatives have around 1.4 million members.
  • In terms of numbers, Common Carriers Cooperatives top the list. In terms of member numbers, Tradesmen and Craftsmen Credit and Surety Cooperatives are in the first position.
  • The cooperatives under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry number 10 thousand, and they have around 2.5 million members. These cooperatives fall under 5 categories: agricultural development, irrigation, aquaculture, beet farming and agricultural loans.
  • Cooperatives falling under the purview of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization are subdivided into cooperatives for residential buildings, small industrial facilities, collective offices and residences, mixed industrial facilities, and specialized industrial facilities. Residential cooperatives are the most active in this area, with 33 thousand cooperatives having over 1 million members.
  • Cooperatives seem to be quite active in Turkey in recent years. Although the number of closed and liquidated cooperatives used to be higher than the newly established ones for a decade, the latter are more numerous since 2018.
  • Analyzing cooperatives by categories, one observes an increase in the number of cooperatives for residential buildings, agricultural development and common carriers in recent years.
  • Compared to the previous periods, in the last few years, production, marketing and management cooperatives stand out among the newly established cooperatives. In this regard, one could say that such cooperatives are being established to respond to various social demands.
  • The report also discusses the steps necessary for supporting and enhancing cooperatives in order to attain the Sustainable Development Goals, which have been announced in 2016, and to further expand the cooperative economy.