Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Christine Fountain, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Huda Gerard-Seif, Ph.D.


The Syrian Civil War, which has generated more than 6.2 million refugees, has brought about one of greatest humanitarian crisis’ that Germany and Turkey have faced in modern times. It is argued that both counties were unprepared for this massive influx and responded to the situation in varying ways. Embracing humanistic and liberal ideals, along with the need for people to fill in the ageing workforce are among the reasons that made Germany the ideal destination for Syrian refugees. However, Germany’s initial welcoming response changed as the amount of refugee’s entering the country continued to grow. Turkey, a neighbor to Syria, was more heavily impacted in terms of sheer numbers entering the country. This was in part due to its proximity but also due to complex political factors such as Turkey’s long desire to become a member of the European Union and outside factors which included the European Union’s difficulty in sharing the burden of asylum seeker registration, determination, and relocation. Overall, Turkey’s response to the refugee crisis proved to be more centered around economic gains rather than humanitarian action. This thesis will analyze the reasons that determined the nature of these two influxes of Syrian refugees and the varying responses and changes which have occurred within the countries.