Turkey vows state-approved education for children of purged schools

Turkey's education minister on Sunday promised a "far better education" to children of privately run schools closed in response to a failed coup, announcing plans to appoint 20,000 state-approved teachers to fill the void left by mass sackings.

Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz said the state plans to hire the new teachers in the coming year to replace fired personnel, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

"The number of suspended teachers and the nationalization of private schools have created a requirement that will be filled by newly recruited teachers," Yilmaz was quoted as saying.

Children who had once attended private schools are to be taught by state-approved teachers. "To our pupils we say the following: No one will be at a disadvantage. We will provide our youngsters with a far better education than before," he said.

Turkey has suspended 37,500 civil servants and police officers in the wake of the July 15 coup, including many from the Education Ministry, and also revoked the licence of 21,000 teachers.

The government has vowed to "cleanse" the country's civil service of supporters of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who it says is behind the attempted putsch and has established a "parallel state" within Turkey's military, judiciary and bureaucratic institutions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also issued a decree to close 2,341 institutions - including schools, charities, unions and medical centres - all of which the government says are linked to Gulen. The decree also extends the legal time a person can be detained to 30 days.

Turkey has detained more than 13,000 people as part of a crackdown in response to a failed military coup. Of those detained, 6,000 have been placed under arrest.

Late Saturday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that the presidential guard is to be completely disbanded. The premier told broadcaster A Haber that the regiment is no longer needed.

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, has denied any involvement in the plot.

The coup began on July 15 and left 260 people dead. Since then, the rapid pace of arrests and sackings in Turkey has worried many of Ankara's Western allies.

Last update: Sun, 24/07/2016 - 14:33
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