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.