With regard to Erdogan and the confusion over Turkish policy and tactics I think the question must be asked.... Does Turkish President Erdogan control his military?
Historically the answer would be 'no'. The Turkish military has always retained a degree of autonomy and has worked closely with NATO and paramilitaries also affiliated with the Deep State. They have overthrown the government on several occasions.
Since Erdogan and the AKP came into power in 2002 there have been rumours of coups d'état and conspiracy. The trials of many military figures have all but collapsed and some have come to doubt if there really is an Ergenekon Conspiracy...
And yet, undoubtedly there are plots and though the Deep State could be said to be curtailed, there's still Gülen in Pennsylvania, the Grey Wolves and others affiliated with Pan-Turkism.
The official line is that the AKP has consolidated power and has forever ended the threat of the Kemalist Deep State. There will be no more coups.
And yet as recently as early this year even Western media was abuzz with rumours of Erdogan's impending doom. He continues to maneuver and has thus far survived. Was the threat real?
The 'Kemalism is Dead' school of analysis would say the threat was fabricated by Erdogan himself in order to further consolidate power. In fact some would argue the earlier plots were also fabrications.
Others aren't so sure. I think it's a mistake to ignore historical precedent.
I believe the threat against the AKP is real as was the coup attempt that was in the works over a decade ago. Since then the Kemalist/NATO/Pan-Turkic alliance has had to turn to other tactics.
Once again I ask....
If the Turkish Armed Forces were operating outside of Erdogan's control in the Syrian theatre... would he admit it? Such an admission would expose his weakness.
Is it possible that elements outside of Erdogan's control are conspiring with al Nusra, ISIS or other Islamist groups in Syria... and possibly doing so on behalf of NATO?
If this is the case, then the possibility of another coup is very real.
I'm not trying to defend Erdogan but I think there's an element to these events that is being missed, are plausible, precedented and provide some coherence to what seems to be a schizophrenic chronology of events.