Syr­ian refugees in Tur­key, Turk­ish mi­grants in Ger­many


In the first decade of the Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Party (AK Party) rule, some among the con­ser­va­tive seg­ments were keen on ex­press­ing a sort of ad­mi­ra­tion for Arab-Is­lamic cul­ture. There was a net in­crease in the num­ber of Ara­bic-ori­gin names given to new­born ba­bies in the 2000’s. This long­ing for the Arab-Is­lamic cul­ture was ac­com­pa­nied by the rise in anti-Western feel­ings, which was not lim­ited to Turks liv­ing in Tur­key but was also ex­pressed openly by Turks liv­ing in Europe, even though the lat­ter did not have plans to move to Arab coun­tries. President Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan en­joyed tremen­dous pop­u­lar­ity among the Turk­ish com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing in Europe. His con­stant bash­ing of Euro­pean lead­ers made those who did not suc­ceed in feeling at home in Europe quiet happy. And in fact the AK Party’s rul­ing elites re­frained from en­cour­ag­ing Turks abroad to fully in­te­grate in the com­mu­ni­ties in which they had de­cided to live. The sym­pa­thy for the Arabs and Ara­bic cul­ture started to change fol­low­ing the ar­rival of Syr­ian refugees. Turk­ish sec­u­lar elites were never par­tic­u­larly fond of Arabs and they from day one re­sented the wel­com­ing at­ti­tude shown to Syr­ian refugees. Iron­i­cally, Turk­ish sec­u­lar elites were not the ones ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the Syr­ian re­al­ity in their ev­ery­day lives. It was rather the AK Party con­stituency that were so fond of giv­ing their chil­dren Ara­bic names that started to ex­pe­ri­ence that re­al­ity, like their chil­dren shar­ing their class­rooms with Syr­ian chil­dren.

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