A group of students in the Erasmus program was refused accommodation due to their country of origin. The accommodation facility, which is situated in a lucrative part of the capital and ironically close to the Turkish and unofficial Palestinian embassies, wrote on Booking.com that they do "not accommodate anyone coming from countries where military conflict / Kurds / or war or military change of government. No, we are no racists, we are reasonably careful and think of our other clients,” as cited by the aktuality.sk website.
A friend of the Ankara students published the answer on Facebook and explained, as cited by the Denník N daily, that they came to Slovakia via the international programme Erasmus+ for one week. They wanted to come a bit earlier, though, to get to know the local culture and socialise, İbrahim Taha Uyar explained.
Hotel: We are not racists
The students answered that such an approach is indeed racist and that they do not deserve it.
İbrahim showed the Denník N the hotel’s answer, claiming they are not racists, only adequately cautious. The students booked another hotel which accepted them without any trouble.
The hotel's staff refused to comment on the incident for the media, showing aggressive behaviour when asked. The alleged owner, who refused to say his name, asked journalists whether they would let such people in their homes.
The Slovak Trade Inspection told aktuality.sk that they have not yet received an official complaint and they thus cannot act. The Foreign Ministry said it would be unfortunate to suspect a visitor to Slovakia only based on his nationality or state of origin. Hotel owners and managers also expressed outrage, saying the incident could cast a bad light on the whole country and the hotel industry.
The Turkish Ambassador to Slovakia Gulhan Ulutekin also slammed the refusal as racist.
Fortunately, the Turkish students have not been dissuaded; they arrived and on August 6 the rest of group will come.
The recent news on the aktuality.sk website alleged that the Booking.com programme ceased cooperation with the Stella Apartments boarding house.
4. Aug 2016 at 6:42