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Foreign Ministry online form tracks xenophobia faced by Turks abroad

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The Turkish Foreign Ministry has introduced an online form enabling Turkish citizens overseas to report acts of xenophobia, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Monday.

The online form can be accessed on the website of all Turkish foreign diplomatic missions.

With the new service, the ministry aims to keep track of xenophobic attitudes against Turkish citizens and provide them with “legal assistance” when necessary.

The “Xenophobia Reporting Form” calls on Turkish citizens abroad to report incidents involving potential xenophobia, noting that data entries are only aimed at keeping records.

Anyone who fills out the form must specify the date and place of the xenophobic incident as well as its type, from among “attack,” “armed attack,” “arson,” “threat letter” or “other,” and provide the identity of the victim and a detailed description of the event.

The intention is notification of potential acts of xenophobia targeting Turkish citizens abroad as soon as possible, according to Turkish diplomatic sources who said such acts would previously be reported by phone or e-mail, facing the risk of going unnoticed.

Potential victims who report xenophobic acts are contacted by Turkish diplomatic missions to verify if the incident reported is an act of xenophobia or racism, and legal assistance is provided to the victims in verified cases.

The legal assistance, however, amounts only to counseling provided by lawyers at diplomatic missions, without any aid in criminal cases.

In some cases, Turkish authorities contact the officials of their respective countries regarding the incidents of xenophobia.

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