Turkey suspends 11,285 teachers accused of links to Kurdish militants

The suspensions account for 2 per cent of the country's 850,000 state educators

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The Independent Online

Turkey has suspended 11,285 teachers for alleged links to the illegal Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK).

Prime Minisiter Binali Yildirim said that an estimated 14,000 teachers have links to the PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by the Turkish government, the European Union and the United States.

It is not clear where the majority of those suspended come from, though Turkey's Kurdish population are mainly based in the southeast near the Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian borders.

Turkey has 850,000 teachers of which the suspensions account for 2 per cent, the BBC reports

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, the suspended teachers are suspected of activities "in support of the separatist terrorist organisation and its affiliates".

In a crackdown on the followers of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen earlier this year, 15,200 education ministry officials were sacked while 21,000 private school teachers had their licences revoked. 

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the 15 July coup on Mr Gulen who is currently living in the United States.

Thousands have been killed over the past ten years as militants battle for greater self-rule for Kurdish people in Turkey.

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