What, you might well ask, could possibly make the situation in Syria look much worse, after President Erdogan’s assault on the Kurds in Afrin? The Turks are, obviously, attacking the forces that did most of the heavy lifting when it came to dealing with Isis on the ground. Indeed, If it hadn’t been for the Kurds, it’s at least arguable that Isis would still be sitting tight in Raqqa rather than dispersed elsewhere. They are the only really reliable ally in the area for the US – though I take on board the argument that it was the US’s move in establishing a force of 30,000 border guards, dominated by Kurds, that set off the ever excitable Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest move.
What, I repeat, could make this situation even worse? Let me answer myself. It would be if Turkey, under its Islamist, authoritarian, despotic president, were a member of the EU or if it were on the fast track for membership of the EU, as most of our political classes still, on paper, want. Remember, Britain was the chief backer for Turkey’s membership while this country still had a stake in the institution. Back in 2010, David Cameron observed that the EU without Turkey is ‘not stronger, but weaker’. Not quite how it looks now, is it?