Most of the time human rights violations hurt only the victims of repression (as in North Korea), but Syria shows that the effects can sometimes spill over geographically and even across borders. Since the civil war began in 2011 millions of Syrians left their country and became refugees in Lebanon (1 million) Turkey (700,000) , Jordan (600,000) and other neighboring countries. It is socially and economically impossible to integrate such large numbers of people in such a short period of time and the strains are beginning to show.
An article in TIME looks closely at the situation in Turkey and the growing tension between Syrian and Turkish people. There are more and more news reports on clashes between the refugees and the locals in Turkish cities. Last week in Ankara the locals, after set fire to a building where refugees were staying (the building was empty and no one died). A new poll shows that only 40% of Turks believe Turkey should accept any more refugees and most of these respondents want to set an upper limit (ie. they do not want to keep an open door indefinitely). In contrast, 55% believe Turkey should not take in any more Syrian refugees.
This article is a reminder that compassion (like everything else in life) is limited. The longer a crisis goes on and the more victims there are, the less willing to help outsiders will be.