Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sharply escalated a diplomatic confrontation with the Netherlands, blaming the nation’s “corrupt” character for the 1995 massacre of thousands of Bosnians under the watch of a Dutch contingent of peacekeepers.
“We know the Dutch from the Srebrenica massacre. We know how their character is corrupt from the massacre of 8,000 Bosnians,” Erdogan said on Tuesday in a televised speech in Ankara. He spoke a day after Turkey announced it would bar the Dutch ambassador from re-entering the country in retaliation for the Netherlands’ decision to deny entry to Turkish ministers campaigning to expand Erdogan’s powers.
The Srebrenica massacre — acknowledged by the United Nations as the deadliest such crime on European soil since the organization’s founding at the end of World War II — was perpetrated in July 1995 by Serb forces who rounded up thousands of Muslims, most of them men and boys. About 400 Dutch peacekeepers failed to prevent the atrocity in the mostly Muslim Bosnian city, which had been declared a UN safe area.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, in an interview on RTLZ television Tuesday, called the Turkish leader’s comments “hysterical” and “unbelievable.” Erdogan “is on TV three times a day. He’s pumping it up further and further,” Rutte said on the eve of a general election in which his Liberals are being pushed hard by the anti-Islam, anti-EU Freedom Party of Geert Wilders.
“I am angry,” Rutte said. “At some point, talks need to be held. We will not stoop to this level.”…
Read more : Bloomberg, 13.03.2017