As to more than a million refugees when

As of 2015,
there were 1.5 million Turkish nationals in Germany, being the most number of
people in Germany without a German citizenship. Their reasons for migrating is
because of the limited industry in Turkey, hence they moved to Germany in
search of better jobs, better pay and better healthcare etcetera. Germany’s
economy slowed down since there were more ablest workers resulting in fewer
jobs available and a higher unemployment rate, this caused racial unrest too.

Moving on to a more specific type of migrants in Germany, the refugees. By
opening their arms to more than a million refugees when German Chancellor
Angela Merkel declared that any Syrian who reached the country could claim
asylum, Germany won huge international applause and an impressive degree of
tolerance was reflected. However, before the year even ended and the influx
continued, and the numbers became uncontrollable, Berlin shut its borders,
throwing neighbouring countries such as Austria, Hungary and other EU countries
into turmoil. In order to fully understand the situation in Germany, we would
have to understand the situation in Europe and also the entire refugee crisis
in Syria. In essence, Syria is a relatively new country and it mashed together
several ethnic and religious groups, with one of the smaller groups, the
Assads, ruling with brutal dictatorship. However, in 2011, the Arab Spring
protests began as a peaceful, pro-democracy movement by the largest demographic
group, the disadvantaged Sunnis. Eventually, the Syrian regime forces opened
fire on peaceful protestors, killing three. Protests grew, as did the violence.

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Assad’s troops shot demonstrators en masse, abducted and tortured activists,
and even murdered children. Syrians took up arms to defend themselves and were
joined by defectors from Assad’s regime. By early 2012, the protests had become
a civil war. Government forces bombed civilian populations; Assad aimed to
crush the rebels and their supporters by brute force, hence targeted Syria’s
Sunni Muslim majority, civilian and rebel alike, so that he could polarize the
conflict on religious lines, to turn the uprising against himself into a
sectarian war, with religious minorities on his side. By 2013, extreme Sunni
Islamists had become some of the most effective anti-Assad fighters, backed by
other Sunni states. Iran’s Shia government backed Assad with cash, weapons, and
soldiers. Meanwhile, a Sunni extremist group known as al-Qaeda in Iraq rebuilt
itself, grew strong fighting against Assad in Syria, and became known as ISIS.

This war affected the citizens the most for Assad targets them ruthlessly,
including with barrel bombs and chemical weapons; ISIS and other groups put
them under brutal and violent rule. Hence, the refugees are willing to take the
long and arduous routes to flee to Europe, mostly. Europe, like a lot of
places, has pretty robust anti-immigration politics, most likely because of a
fear of changing demographics and civic identity. Many European countries,
under the European Union are also taking advantage of EU rules to keep refugees
out. In theory, the EU’s open internal borders mean that it ought to handle
refugees collectively. But in practice, most EU member states don’t want to
take their fair share, and they technically don’t have to. This is because of a
rule called the Dublin Regulation which states the refugees have to stay in the
first European country they arrive in until their asylum claims are processed,
allowing Europe to push most of the burden onto Greece and Italy, which are
overwhelmed with thousands of refugees. Countries such as Hungary and Austria
are tightening their borders with other European countries to keep refugees
from crossing their territory. As the rest of Europe tightened restrictions,
Germany dramatically relaxed its asylum rules, which is a very important step
for dealing with the crisis and helping refugees, but also has caused problems
to arise, as briefly mentioned before. Some examples include the sexual assault
during New Year’s Eve where hundreds of sexual assaults (including groping), at
least five rapes, and numerous thefts were reported in Germany, mainly in
Cologne. All of the incidents involved women being surrounded and assaulted by
groups of men on the street. Police estimate that at least 2,000 men were
involved, acting in groups and that the perpetrators were men of “Arab or
North African appearance”. Such mass sexual assaults have never happened
before, hence creating a lot of tension in Germany and debates on women’s
rights and the sustainability of the asylum policy in Germany.