Thousands of teachers in Turkey’s South East are to be suspended over suspected support of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

“We estimate there are around 14,000 teachers in this area that are somehow connected to terror,” he said.

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South-eastern Turkey has seen the worst violence in two decades since the outlawed PKK abandoned a two-year ceasefire with the government in July 2015.

The measure comes after nearly 50,000 civil servants in Turkey were fired by decree on Friday, as the government continues its purge of public services following a failed coup attempt in July.

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Yildirim said that teachers linked to the PKK would no longer be renewed at the start of the new school year on September 19th.

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The PKK, which regularly attacks police and military targets in the mostly Kurdish south-east, has intensified its activities in recent months.

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