Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment Policy
Near East University
Policy on the Prevention of Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying, Mobbing, Toxicity, Vilification and Victimisation

Version: 2        Creation date: 2001       Last review date: 12 December 2023

1. Purpose

Our University is committed to fostering an accessible and inclusive environment for learning and work, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, and firmly opposing discrimination, harassment, bullying, mobbing, toxicity, vilification, and victimisation.

2. Scope

Every university employee and student bear the responsibility of fostering an environment within the University that upholds diversity, equity and inclusion, and eradicates unlawful acts like discrimination, harassment and adverse actions.

This policy applies to all staff and students of the Near East University, and individuals

  • present at University premises
  • utilizing University-owned or leased equipment
  • participating in University events, functions, or activities
  • engaged in any activity as a University representative or student.

The policy also applies to all forms of communication or interaction relevant to University business activities, whether initiated personally, via telephone, fax, email, SMS, social networking sites or through an intermediary, agent, or any other method.

3. Definitions

Discrimination can take various forms: direct or indirect, overt or covert, verbal, non-verbal, or physical.
Direct discrimination is when a person treats, or proposes to treat, someone unfavourably than another person or group because of

  • their race, colour, national or ethnic origin;
  • their sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, relationship status, pregnancy, breastfeeding;
  • their disability as defined by the Law No. 64/1993 on the Protection, Rehabilitation, and Employment of Disabled Persons by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC);
  • their caregiving or family responsibilities;
  • their age;
  • their religion;
  • their involvement in trade unions.

Indirect discrimination occurs when a workplace or educational institution’s policy, practice, or conduct seems unbiased yet significantly diminish the opportunity for certain groups to benefit from them.

Harassment, a form of discrimination, happens when an individual is subjected to intimidation, insult, or humiliation due to their race, colour, national or ethnic origin; sex, gender identity, pregnancy, breastfeeding; relationship status; caregiving or family responsibilities; age; disability; religion; sexual orientation; involvement in trade unions; or any other characteristic.
Harassment encompasses any behaviour, whether verbal, physical, in-person, through electronic communications, or otherwise, aiming to or resulting in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment,

Harassment can include but is not limited to:

  • verbally abusive remarks or comments that belittle or stereotype individuals
  • offensive communications such as telephone communications, emails, letters or SMS messages intending to offend individuals based on stereotypes;
  • jokes intended to offend based on stereotypes;
  • direct or implied insults, derogatory comments, name-calling, or bullying directed at an individual due to a protected characteristic;
  • intrusive questions or comments about an individual's personal life;
  • verbal or nonverbal attacks, including staring and leering, involving sexual, sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or other discriminatory behaviour.
  • embarrassing, humiliating or intimidating a person because of one's particular trait;
  • ridiculing customs or cultures.

Bullying is characterized by repetitive verbal or nonverbal attacks, overt or covert, which may pose a risk to health and safety. This includes but isn't limited to:

  • Verbal abuse, such as yelling, screaming, aggressive language, personal insults, name-calling, sarcasm, inappropriate comments about appearance or personal life, and defamation.
  • Teasing or persistent pranks after objections have been expressed.
  • Unconstructive criticism about work or academic performance.
  • Demeaning, insulting, or derogatory remarks.
  • Imposing unattainable deadlines, excessive workloads, or degrading tasks on specific employees, deviating from established work standards.
  • Ignoring or downplaying an individual's contributions to team activities.
  • Denying appropriate breaks or leave.
  • Intentionally altering work schedules to inconvenience certain employees.
  • Inappropriately handling personal belongings or work equipment of others without justification.
  • Sending abusive or inappropriate emails or making excessive phone calls.
  • Targeting individuals or groups based on protected personal attributes.


Mobbing refers to a form of bullying or harassment where a group of individuals, often in a workplace or social setting, target and repeatedly mistreat, belittle, or harass another person. It involves systematic and ongoing negative behaviours, such as spreading rumours, intimidation, verbal abuse, isolation, or other forms of aggressive conduct directed at the targeted individual.

This behaviour is typically repetitive, sustained over time, and may involve multiple people ganging up on or ostracizing the victim. Mobbing can have severe psychological, emotional, and sometimes even physical effects on the individual being targeted. It's often associated with power imbalances, where the perpetrators aim to undermine, intimidate, or exclude the targeted person from the group or community.


Toxicity refers to behaviours, environments, or situations that are harmful, damaging, or detrimental to individuals' well-being, often in psychological or emotional terms. In various contexts, toxicity can manifest as negative behaviours, attitudes, or dynamics that create an unhealthy or hostile atmosphere. In interpersonal relationships, a toxic dynamic might involve manipulation, emotional abuse, constant criticism, or an overall lack of respect. In work environments, toxicity can stem from bullying, harassment, excessive competition, or a culture that fosters high stress levels, leading to burnout or anxiety among employees.


Vilification refers to a public action that might encourage others to harbour hatred, intense contempt, or severe ridicule towards an individual or a particular group.


Victimisation refers to the unfair or disadvantageous treatment of an individual or group due to their involvement in reporting, supporting, or resolving a complaint related to discrimination, harassment, or vilification.

Discrimination, harassment, bullying, vilification and victimisation may be committed by students and employees and may be targeted at students and employees based on their protected attributes outlined below.

Protected attributes

Listed below are the characteristics based on which discrimination and harassment are prohibited at the Near East University

  • Race, colour
  • National or ethnic origin
  • Sex, gender identity, sexual orientation
  • Marital or relationship status
  • Disability or mental health condition
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Political belief or activity
  • Profession, occupation
  • Pregnancy or potential pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Physical features
  • Membership of a union
  • Spent conviction
  • Being personally connected with someone identified by any of the mentioned attributes

4. Principles

Near East University is dedicated to:

  • preventing discrimination, harassment, bullying, mobbing, toxicity, vilification and victimisation based on the aforementioned protected attributes, ensuring that employees and students are treated fairly and with respect;
  • enabling access to education, research, and employment opportunities, allowing the inclusion of individuals from diverse circumstances and backgrounds to the University community;
  • embedding and evaluating the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all policies, procedures, decisions, and operations;
  • protecting academic freedom and freedom of speech in line with its Policy on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech;
  • ensuring equitable opportunities for staff in all aspects of employment, including recruitment, promotion, remuneration, professional development and at the end of their employment;
  • ensuring equitable opportunities for students in all aspects of their student life, including access and admissions, enrolment, learning and assessment, services and supports, participation in University community and graduation.

Under no circumstances will discrimination, harassment, bullying, vilification, or victimization by or of an employee or a student be tolerated.

Every individual at the University holds the responsibility to refrain from engaging in discriminatory, harassing, vilifying, or victimizing behaviour.

To prevent discrimination, harassment, bullying, mobbing, toxicity, vilification, and victimization, the University:

encourages the reporting of behaviour breaching this policy;

  • offers protection from any reprisals or victimization related to a complaint;
  • provides an effective complaints procedure;
  • handles all complaints in a sensitive, fair, timely, and confidential manner.

5. Procedures

Any individual who witnesses or experiences discrimination, harassment, bullying, mobbing, toxicity, vilification, and victimisation at the University is encouraged to take action and file a complaint. Near East University is committed to creating an environment where all individuals feel safe to report any misconduct without fear of reprisal.

5a. Reporting
Initial Reporting: The aggrieved person or witness is encouraged to document the misconduct in writing, including details such as dates, times, witnesses, and a description of the behaviour and its location. They are strongly encouraged to promptly report the incident to the University Rectorate. Individuals seeking to make a report may also seek advice and support from the Rectorate before making a formal complaint.

Formal Complaint: If the aggrieved person wishes to file a formal complaint, they must submit a written account of the incident(s) to the Rectorate. The written complaint should include details such as the date, time, location, individuals involved, and any witnesses.

  • If the unlawful behaviour is being perpetrated by an employee, once the alleged unlawful behaviour has been reported, the Rectorate must take immediate action to address the complaint.
  • All allegations of unlawful behaviour by a student will be dealt with in accordance with the Near East University Student Disciplinary Regulations.

Anonymous Reporting: The university provides a mechanism for anonymous reporting; however, the aggrieved person or witness should be aware that anonymity may limit the university's ability to fully investigate the claim.

Criminal Matters: Unlawful behaviour including physical or sexual assault, violent threats and severe intimidation, are criminal matters and should be reported to the police for investigation.

5b. Investigation
Upon receipt of a report of discrimination, the Rectorate will take the following actions:

  • Acknowledge Receipt: Provide timely acknowledgment of the receipt of the report to the aggrieved person or witness.
  • Assessment: Conduct an initial assessment of the report to determine the appropriate course of action.
  • Investigation: If warranted, initiate an investigation into the matter, which will be conducted promptly and with due regard for confidentiality.
  • Findings: Make a determination based on the evidence gathered. The university will communicate the findings and any subsequent actions to be taken to the aggrieved person or witness and the accused party, as appropriate.
  • Resolution: Take appropriate measures to resolve the situation, which may include mediation, training, policy changes, disciplinary action, or other remedies.


Near East University will maintain the confidentiality of all reports of discrimination, harassment, bullying, mobbing, toxicity, vilification and victimisation in accordance with the applicable law. The identity of aggrieved persons, witnesses, and the accused will be protected throughout the investigation process. Information will only be disclosed to individuals who have a legitimate need to know in order to conduct a thorough and fair investigation.