11,500 teachers have been suspended from their posts by Turkey's Ministry of National Education for having alleged ties to the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK)
Following a speech made by Turkey Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım in Diyarbakır (Amed) last week, in which he said up to 14,000 teachers were suspected of having ties with the PKK, 11,500 teachers have been suspended from their posts. The Ministry of National Education made a statement saying, "11,285 personnel with ties to the separatist terrorist organisation have been suspended."
Commentators and MPs have criticised the move as a purge and said that the government wants to replace Kurdish teachers with teachers who are supporters of the Turkish government.
It is expected that the number of suspended teachers will go up to 14,000 following investigations by local governorates. The names of the suspended teachers have been sent to their places of work ahead of the new school year.
More than 100,000 people have been purged from the public sector in Turkey following the coup attempt on 15 July 2016. Most of those purged are accused of being members of the Fethullah Gülen Movement, which the Turkish government blames for the coup attempt.
However attention has turned to Kurdish and oppositional academics, journalists and public sector workers recently with many prominent names being imprisoned and suspended for supporting pro-Kurdish politics.