12000 more Turkish teachers were suspended last week for allegedly 'supporting terrorism.' The teachers are all in the Kurdish region of the country and their crime appears to be supporting a strike last year which called for an end to the hostilities between the government and the Kurdish PKK.
The teachers union, Egitim Sen, says the crackdown is about much more than this however. Their union is fighting to retain secular education in the country, while the increasingly repressive regime of Tayyip Erdogan is moving towards an Islamic form of education.
A spokesperson for the Dyarbakir branch of Egitim Sen said they were very worried: 'If there is no active opposition by Egitim-Sen, I believe the education system will be pushed away from secularism and transformed into a religious system under the hegemony of religion.'
The teachers were not only suspended from their duties, many received a visit from the security forces early in the morning and were told they were be detained, typical of the terror tactics Erdogan is using to crush any opposition both in education and particularly in the press, where many journalists have been arrested and 160 media outlets shut down.
The most recent suspensions and arrests have come on top of thousands more last month, meaning that many children are left without teachers. This situation has led to protests from parents.