Slovak accommodation facility refuses students from Turkey, Foreign Ministry says that is discriminatory
An accommodation facility in Bratislava recently refused to accommodate students from Turkey and is being criticized by both the Slovak Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Embassy. The facility owners said that for safety reasons they do not accommodate "people from Turkey and Arab countries".
The Slovak media are reporting that the Turkish Embassy says the incident is a human rights violation involving racism. The Penzion Apartments Stella facility near the Castle in Bratislava refused three students from Turkey who were planning to arrive as part of the Erasmus+ exchange program.
Penzion Apartments Stella responded to their inquiry through the Internet with a message in broken English stating that "for safety reasons" the facility does not accommodate people from Arab countries or Turkey. When the objection was raised with the facility that they had proceeded in a racist way, they responded as follows: "We do not provide accommodation to anybody from a country in which there is an armed conflict ongoing (the Kurds), a war, or a military putsch. No, we are not racists, we are just rationally cautious and we are thinking of the interests of our other customers."
The communication between the facility and the students from Turkey took place some time ago, but the case was brought to light this week through online social networking sites by a friend of the students. Subsequently, the Turkish Embassy in Bratislava, which is located in the next street over from the accommodation facility, inserted itself into the affair.
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this racist, reactionary and unacceptable opinion, which contravenes human rights and is incompatible with humane values," the Embassy said in a statement. The Slovak Foreign Ministry has also responded to the scandal, stating that judging people on the basis of their citizenship or nationality is discriminatory.
The Internet reservation portal used by the students has stopped collaborating with Penzion Apartments Stella in Bratislava. The Turkish students ultimately found accommodation without any problem at another hotel in Bratislava, according to the Slovak media.
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