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Turkish Town Riots Against Syrian Refugees

Walter Russell Mead

Ominous signs point to serious turbulence ahead for the EU-Turkey migrant deal. The Times reports:

Anti-Syrian riots have erupted in the Turkish border town that is due to host the first new refugee facilities built with EU funding, casting fresh doubt on Turkey’s capacity to accommodate Syrians deported from Greece under a European plan to solve the migrant crisis.

The protests broke out after rockets and artillery launched from Islamic State-held areas in Syria landed in Kilis on Monday night and again yesterday morning, injuring 15 people, several seriously. Mobile phone footage shot in the moments after a Katyusha rocket slammed into a residential neighbourhood yesterday shows terrified schoolchildren being herded away from the blast site as police rush towards the scene. One man died of injuries sustained in the attacks.

There is no solution to the Syrian refugee problem that doesn’t involve a solution to the Syrian war problem. The idea that you can avoid everything unpleasant about foreign policy but still live up to high standards of moral conduct is one of the great illusions of our time.

The only way to do solve the problems of the refugees involves giving them safe havens in Syria now, and getting serious about bringing an end to the war. Right now the West’s policy is to cover a depraved indifference to the suffering of the Syrian people with a hypocritical pretense of caring about the refugees, paying Erdogan large bribes to make the problem disappear, even as he dismantles what’s left of Turkey’s democracy and framework of law.

It’s a sad spectacle that only likely to get worse, especially if, as many believe, the Syrian war should heat up again as Assad presses his advantages around Aleppo.

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