Turkey has canceled the work permits of 27,424 people working in the education sector as part of its investigations into the movement of the U.S.-based cleric it blames for a failed military coup, Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz said on Thursday.

"27,424 personnel working in institutions and schools as part of the parallel state structure have had their work permits canceled," Yilmaz told reporters in comments broadcast on several Turkish television channels.

"These personnel will not be allowed to work in public or private education institutions again."

The "parallel structure" is a term used by government officials to refer to the network of Gulen's followers within state institutions. The cleric has denied involvement in the coup or plotting against the state.