More than 11,000 teachers suspended over PKK links
More than 11,000 teachers have been suspended over suspected links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkey’s Education Ministry announced on Sept. 8.
“A total of 11,285 personnel linked to the separatist terrorist organization have been suspended,” the ministry stated via Twitter.
The teachers will be able to receive two thirds of their salaries until the end of their trials, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The number of suspensions is expected to increase to 14,000, according to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s recent speech on the issue.
“It is estimated that a total of 14,000 teachers are on duty in the region with certain types of connections to terror,” Yıldırım told representatives of nongovernmental organizations and opinion leaders in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır late on Sept. 4, vowing that they would be suspended as a “precaution.”
“Of the 14,000, how many of them have connections to terrorist organizations will be revealed with investigations and examinations. We’ve spoken to our Education Ministry and all of the suspected teachers will be suspended and won’t be assigned in the new term,” he added.
The Education Ministry has been working on the list of suspected teachers for a year, daily Habertürk reported on Sept. 8, adding that reports and complaints received from people in the east and southeast contributed to the preparation of the list.
The dismissals of the 14,000 teachers are now on the table and the number could increase further, as no state of emergency decree is reportedly necessary to carry out the suspensions, the daily also reported.
Meanwhile, Labor and Social Policies Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has said a decision will be made regarding state personnel who are suspected of “having links to or supporting the PKK within the next 15 days or one month.”
“Those in the public sector who are accessories to the PKK’s acts in the southeast are being investigated,” Müezzinoğlu said.
“People who don’t side with the state and the people will no longer have a place in the civil service,” he vowed.