Turkish army leaders responded in anger against political parties which claimed the retreat from Iraq was due to pressure exerted upon Turkey by the United States. The Turkish General Staff regarded the comments as insulting. “The Turkish military considers rhetoric targeting it an injust and lowly attack aainst an institution that fights terrorism and loses martyrs in the name of the country.” The opposition Republican Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party(MHP), which historically have defended the military, lamented the end of the invasion which they believed should have continued. Naturally, after being berated by the military, both parties carefully chose words of conciliation.
The Erdogan government which has clashed with the General Staff over issues like seeking to allow women to wear a headscarf suddenly found itself on the side of the military when secularist opposition parties argued for continued military action. Actually, all are agreed on the basic issue that the army has a right to invade Iraq in pursuit of terrorists. Turkey’s military leaders have a tendency to readily get bruised feelings.