14,000 teachers to be suspended over suspected PKK links: PM Yıldırım

14,000 teachers to be suspended over suspected PKK links: PM Yıldırım

14,000 teachers to be suspended over suspected PKK links: PM Yıldırım

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Up to 14,000 teachers will be suspended over their suspected links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the east and south of Turkey, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has announced. 

“It is estimated that a total of 14,000 teachers are on duty in the region who have had 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, adding 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 talked to our Education Ministry and all of the suspected teachers will be suspended and they won’t be assigned in the new term,” he added. 

The prime minister also said the teachers who are going to be suspended over suspected links to the PKK will experience the same things as the ones suspended for alleged links to the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to have orchestrated the July 15 coup attempt.

Saying new teachers would be assigned to the region, Yıldırım added that the government would also crack down on public personnel linked to terror. 

“Terror is not only in the mountains, but it is also in the state. It is also in the local governance of the state,” he also said.

During his speech, Yıldırım said the PKK and FETÖ met and made plans before and after the failed seizure of government.

“The PKK and FETÖ meet after July 15 and the latter voiced their demands from the former.  They [FETÖ] said [to the PKK], ‘We couldn’t handle the business [coup bid], so assassinate the president and the prime minister and we will pay the cost of it.’ They will give an account for all of this,” he added.

Noting that people would “give a lesson to those who bomb the people” and kill soldiers, Yıldırım said the aim was to remove terror from Turkey’s agenda.

“If we don’t do it, then constructing investment areas and factories here will become dreams or be delayed. The biggest existence is life. You can’t talk about trade, business or future in a place where human life is in danger,” he said.