Turkey has dismissed 10,500 state employees over suspected PKK links: minister

November 24, 2016 2:45 AM EST

A woman holds a flag of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) during a demonstration against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in central Brussels, Belgium, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - More than 10,500 state employees have been dismissed over suspected links with the Kurdish PKK militant group, Turkish Labour Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said on Thursday in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk.

Turkey is fighting an insurgency by the PKK in the largely Kurdish southeast and it has previously dismissed hundreds of teachers it said were linked to the militant group while arrested pro-Kurdish politicians.

Turkey has sacked or suspended more than 125,000 state officials since a failed coup attempt in July. It was not immediately clear whether the 10,500 Muezzinoglu was referring to were part of that number or an additional purge.

(Reporting by Daren Butler; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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