Turkey’s war of words with the Netherlands has worsened after the Turkish president accused the Dutch of carrying out a massacre of Muslim men at Srebrenica, Bosnia, in 1995.
Bosnian Serb forces were in fact behind the massacre but Dutch UN peacekeepers failed to protect the victims.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the failure, still a raw nerve in the Netherlands, revealed Dutch “morality” was “broken”.
The Dutch prime minister called the remarks a “vile falsification”.
Mark Rutte told the BBC Mr Erdogan was becoming “increasingly more hysterical hour by hour and I want him to… calm down”.
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Turkey is furious at a decision by the Netherlands on Saturday to bar two Turkish ministers from addressing expatriates in the country ahead of a referendum in Turkey.
In retaliation, Turkey accused the Dutch of “Nazi” tactics, barred the Dutch ambassador from returning to Ankara, and suspended high-level relations with the Hague in a raft of diplomatic sanctions.
On Tuesday, Turkey’s deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said the country may levy economic sanctions against the Netherlands as well.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini had called on Turkey to “refrain from excessive statements and actions that risk further exacerbating the situation”, but her message appears to have had little effect.
Turkey called the appeal “worthless”.
Why did the Dutch ban the Turkish rallies?
The spat began when two Turkish ministers were barred from entering the country to attend rallies that were to be attended by ethnic Turks in the Netherlands.
The rallies were called to encourage large Turkish communities in the EU to vote Yes in a referendum on 16 April on expanding the Turkish president’s powers.
The Dutch government decided to block the rallies, citing “risks to public order and security”. Some 5.5 million Turks live outside the country, including an estimated 400,000 in the Netherlands.
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