Many believe Erdogan concocted the entire thing in order to work towards his totalitarian Islamic leaning regime while the other narrative is that America were genuinely trying to overthrow Erdogan. Both views I have heard from Turkish friends. Ankara has to choose the latter view because they could not possibly tell their population that this is an agreement forged with the Americans prior to the coup attempt. The secular leaning folk like to think it was Erdogan’s Islamist approach to turn Turkey into more of an Islamic State and the religious folk believe it was America trying to derail the Islamist Erdogan.
However when we perform political analysis we shouldn’t take the common view on the ground or the corporate news narrative as ‘the’ correct angle in understanding the reality. The mainstream narrative has duped the masses in almost every country and is used as a tool to shape popular opinion in order to pass through draconian laws and the like.
We have to remember Erdogan’s goal of becoming a ceremonial figurehead for Turkey who sits above the government does not come cheaply. America, Russia and Syria have been arming the YPG to fight ISIS. The PKK have had experience fighting alongside YPG using urban warfare tactics which they now employ in and within Turkey to carry out spectacular terror attacks. This is one way the Americans can keep a check on Turkey, by continuing its support of Kurdish militancy under the guise of fighting ISIS.
Russia’s sanctions on Turkey also cripple Turkey’s economy and like we have seen it didn’t take long before they kiss and make up. In fact the Russian airplane was shot down by a plane leaving the U.S. Incirlik Airbase and Erdogan admitted they went out of the chain of command to shoot it down, days after the U.S. advised if Russia go over their airspace again Turkey has the right to shoot it down.
Some argue it’s Russia vs America and therefore Turkey are swinging to the Russian axis. This is a ridiculous and an unfounded statement which puts Russia at the same level as America in terms of superpower status. In fact, America holds Russia by the nuts on many issues and therefore Russia must continue to play the game set out by the Americans for the Middle East if it wants to come out of it with something, namely an Alawite state in Western Syria. The Middle East plan is for America now whether the Russians, Turks or Europeans like it or not — Russia has realised this fact and that is why it coordinates its attacks with the U.S. in Syria and made a tactical retreat when the Syrian regime held the upper hand, as to not tip the balance of power towards the regime. If it were seeking its own interests, then it would have secured Syria and the regime. Russia realise they either sit back and let America do what they like or they get involved and at least salvage some part of Syria that they can hold on to, a piece of the cake as America would call it.
We need to understand that nations and their leaders have certain interests however under a unipolar world, the interests cannot be taken free of charge. Turkey will get their ceremonial figurehead, but they’ll lose a part of Turkey in the process to the Kurds and they’ll take half the blame with Russia on splitting Syria into three parts, as described by many high level U.S. policy think-tanks including RAND and Brookings Institute.