As so often in global politics, something that is right and important has happened at the worst conceivable time.
The refugee crisis has finally forced Europe to focus on Turkey, a country that it has treated like an unloved stepchild for years.
It’s a new and perhaps historic situation. At the same moment that President Tayyip Erdoğan cracks down on freedoms, the European Union must achieve closer ties with Turkey.
Indeed, it’s compelled to wish for a strong and stable Turkey and to believe that this precarious moment is the right time for rapprochement.
For a long time, Europeans made things easy for themselves: Turkey was Syria’s neighbor, and the civil war and refugees were Turkey’s problem.
But ever since desperate asylum seekers started streaming across the sea and through the Balkans, they quickly became Europe’s problem, especially for Germany and other prosperous member states.