News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

PKK: Turkey suspends 11, 285 teachers

President Erdogan: the purge continues

A total of 11,285 teachers were suspended over alleged links with the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkish Education Ministry announced on Thursday.

The announcement came after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s remarks last Monday that all teachers having links to the PKK terrorist organization will be suspended.

Speaking in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, which has been repeatedly targeted by PKK terrorist attacks, Yildirim said an estimated 14,000 teachers in the region are somehow associated with terrorism.

Also on Thursday, Yildirim called on provincial governors to take steps against elements in eastern and southeastern Turkish municipalities “that are linked to terrorism.”

At a governors’ meeting in the capital Ankara, Yildirim, citing a recent statutory decree, said governors “have been fully authorized” to do what is necessary in the case of “municipalities that are linked to terrorism,” according to Anadolu Agency.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the US, EU and Turkey.

More than a thousand Turkish university staff  have been ordered to resign their faculty leadership positions — and others expect to be sacked — in the aftermath of the country’s failed coup on 15 July.

Recently, the Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK), called for all 1,577 of the country’s university deans — the staff that head up each institution’s various academic faculties — to leave their posts.

Many of the deans may ultimately be re-appointed, but researchers say the move is designed to ensure that Recep Tayyip  Erdoğan maintains tight political control over the education sector, following earlier purges of the country’s military, judiciary and police.

And in what amounts to a temporary international travel ban for Turkish scholars, all vacations at universities have also been cancelled, and academics who are abroad for work and holidays have been told to return.

At an emergency meeting of 165 university rectors on 18 July in Ankara, YÖK had told university rectors to identify academics and administrators with connections to the Gülen movement — a religious and social organization that Erdoğan considers to be behind the coup — and to take steps to expel them.

Istanbul University immediately suspended 95 academics in various faculties.

The council did not invite a further 28 rectors to that meeting, saying that their universities are suspected of being pro-Gülenist.

Some of these institutions will be taken over by the state, YÖK said. (Xinua/NAN)

Additional report by Reuters