Istanbul has highest number of teachers dismissed since Turkey’s coup attempt

Istanbul has highest number of teachers dismissed since Turkey’s coup attempt

Istanbul has highest number of teachers dismissed since Turkey’s coup attempt Among the 28,163 teachers dismissed through a state of emergency decree published in Turkey’s Official Gazette on Sept. 2, some 3,487 were from Istanbul, more than any other province, daily Habertürk reported on Sept. 15. 

The dismissal of teachers comes as part of measures taken by the government against individuals suspected of having links to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, believed to have been behind the failed military coup attempt of July 15.

The Central Anatolian province of Konya and the capital Ankara followed Istanbul with the highest number of dismissals. A total of 2,032 teachers were dismissed in Konya, while 1,595 were dismissed in Ankara.

Some 1,116 teachers in the northwestern province of Bursa, 1,059 in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, 898 in the Mediterranean province of Kahramanmaraş, and 878 in the western province of Manisa have been dismissed.

Numbers of dismissals are generally lowest in Turkey’s east and southeast, with the eastern province of Tunceli having the lowest number of dismissals. Only seven people have been dismissed in Tunceli over suspected links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

Eleven teachers in the northeastern province of Ardahan, 21 in the eastern province of Hakkari, 35 in the eastern province of Iğdır, 38 in the southeastern province of Şırnak, 53 in the eastern province of Kars, and 77 in the eastern province of Ağrı have been dismissed on suspicion of being Gülenists. 

Some 43,000 teachers have been suspended by the Education Ministry since the failed coup attempt while 1,017 private schools, 823 dormitories and 283 exam preparation schools linked to FETÖ have been shut down. 

Investigations into around 14,000 teachers are still ongoing.

In addition to the anti-FETÖ probe, state of emergency powers have also been employed to suspend thousands of teachers over suspected links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Those suspensions have severely affected the Ovacık district of Tunceli province. A total of 11,285 teachers have been suspended on suspicion of “having links to terror,” and 25 of those were from Ovacık’s only elementary school. 

The communist mayor of Ovacık, Mehmet Fatih Maçoğlu, commented on the situation of the schools in the district, saying half of the teachers in other schools in Ovacık have also been suspended. 

“We are trying to fix the situation but we can’t find a counterpart in government. We don’t know what to do. Families are worried,” Maçoğlu told daily Cumhuriyet on Sept. 15.

Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz has vowed that more teachers will be employed than the number who have been suspended or dismissed in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

“We want to get through this period without experiencing the slightest hardship in education,” Yılmaz said in a speech in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, adding that some 70,000 teachers will be employed to replace the nearly 50,000 dismissed or suspended. 

“In the end more teachers will be within our education system,” he added.