International volunteers and NGOs are helping over 3,000 displaced people stranded in “the jungle,” a makeshift refugee camp in Calais, France.
To be sure, these problems are difficult to resolve. The issue of refugees and displaced peoples is one of the great tests of the international humanitarian ideals of the 21st century, and of the cosmopolitan aspirations of a Europe shaped by ambition to project its soft power and good governance across the world. However, when cosmopolitanism meets state interests under economic pressure, the former is often cast aside.
In the past few years, Turkey has taken upwards of two million Syrian refugees into the country and provided large quantities of aid to them as well. Aid to Syrian refugees has increased the overall humanitarian aid Turkey gives each year and this spending is seemingly aimed at increasing Turkey’s soft power internationally, and regionally with the Middle East. Often we in Turkey hear ideas from major media outlets about supporting the Middle East based on shared culture and religion, or a shared historical Ottoman legacy.
Following violent anti-asylum seeker rallies by right-wing extremist in Heidenau and xenophobic PEGIDA protests, Saxony wants to revamp its international image with the campaign "Simply Saxony." The Saxon government plans to find new ways to include the debate over refugees and migrants into the state's image campaign.