The Turkish government is continuing to oppress teachers, in a move which has seen over 11,000 more colleagues suspended. This is on top of the closure of schools associated with Fethulla Gulen, a previous ally of the President Tayyip Erdogan, now exiled.
The latest move has been taken against teachers who are suspected of supporting the Kurdish Peoples Party. It has been particularly harsh in Kurdish regions, where some local education authorities have been completely disbanded. In one area, Dersim, 418 out of a teaching force of 947 have been suspended, in what amounts to the destruction of education in the province.
As regular readers of this site wil know, teachers and their union Egitim Sen, have a long tradition of supporting the rights of the Kurdish people to be taught in their own language and their own culture. For this the union and its leaders have been made illegal in the past and its leaders and activists subject to arrest.
Erdogan is pursuing a relentless war against the Kurdish minority in his country. Thousands of Kurdish civilians have been killed in the South East of the country according to reports. He has now extended his war into neighbouring Syria, where Kurdish forces have been battling ISIS. And he has used the attempted army coup against his government earlier this year as a pretext to clampdown on teachers and others, in particular journalists, who speak up for human rights, characterising them as 'terrorists' and supporters of the coup.
The Turkish teachers deserve all our support.