ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey's interior minister says the government will take over the running of 28 municipalities, ousting elected mayors accused of links to Kurdish rebels.
Suleyman Soylu's announcement Friday came a day after the education ministry suspended 11,285 personnel, including teachers, over suspicions they may be linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.
Soylu said 28 municipalities would no longer be run "under the orders of Qandil" — a reference to northern Iraq's Qandil mountain where the PKK's leadership is based. He said the takeover would take place within 15 days.
The move comes after Turkey declared a state of emergency following a July 15 coup attempt and suspended tens of thousands of people from government jobs over suspected links to a U.S.-based cleric accused of masterminding the coup.