Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters at a meeting in Diyarbakır on Sunday that there are nearly 14,000 teachers who are somehow affiliated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and that the Education Ministry is working on a list of probable suspects to suspend prior to the beginning of the new academic year.
“Those who are seen as reasonably suspicious [for their links to the PKK] will be suspended,” Yıldırım said. Yıldırım added that those teachers will be suspended before Sept. 19, the beginning of the new school year, and that investigations will be launched into them similar to those initiated against teachers who have been suspended over alleged links to the Gülen movement.
More than 15.000 teachers working under the Education Ministry were dismissed from their jobs and thousands of them were arrested for their ties to the Gülen movement, a civil society movement inspired by the views of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government accuses of masterminding a failed coup in Turkey on July 15.
“Those who are being investigated [over their links with the PKK] will share the same fate as FETÖ members,” Yıldırım added. “We will clear them out of state jobs one by one. We cannot finish terror off merely by fighting with guns against them in rural areas and cities.“