ISTANBUL (AP) — A senior Turkish official says 11,285 education ministry personnel, including teachers, have been suspended amid suspicions they may be linked to outlawed Kurdish rebels.
The official said Thursday that the personnel were placed on paid leave until authorities can complete a formal investigation.
Speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, the official didn't specify what links the personnel may have with the Kurdish rebels.
But he said such steps are taken based on "concrete evidence" including financial ties and efforts to recruit for the rebels.
Violence between the Kurdistan Workers Party — or PKK — and Turkey's security forces resumed last year, after the collapse of a two-year peace process. Hundreds of security force members, militants and civilians have been killed since.