Turkey accuses Netherlands of 'state-sponsored terror' as diplomatic row worsens

The Hague: Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a fresh verbal attack against the Netherlands, accusing the European Union member of state-sponsored terror.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks during a rally in Istanbul. AP

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks during a rally in Istanbul. AP

Erdogan's latest inflammatory interjection was made during a speech in Ankara on Tuesday and further exacerbated the ongoing diplomatic crisis with the Netherlands that arose when Dutch officials clamped down on Turkish referendum campaigning aimed at voting Turks abroad.

"By displaying state-sponsored terror on Saturday, the Netherlands has greatly damaged the EU, its values which are no longer a bloc of laws and freedoms," Efe news quoted Erdogan as saying.

"The Netherlands did not surprise us, we already knew the low morality, the civilization level and manners of the Dutch. We know it from their role in the Srebrenica massacre. We know how rotten their character is from their massacre of 8,000 Bosnians there," he told the crowd.

"Nobody should try to give us morality lessons, especially not those who have blood on their hands," added Erdogan.

The president was referencing the 1995 massacre during the Bosnian war, when Dutch soldiers deployed by the UN failed to prevent the Serbian Army from entering the UN-designated Bosnian safe area of Srebrenica leading to the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks.

Dutch officials have since recognized partial responsibility for the circumstances leading to the massacre, and have paid out compensation to the affected families.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte accused Turkey of falsifying history, adding that Erdogan's tone was becoming more and more hysterical.

This new spat comes after supporters of the Turkish president burned a French flag after mistaking it for Holland's in Samsun in Turkey, Daily Mail online reported.

The flag went up in flames as protesters recited the Turkish national anthem amid heightened tension after the Netherlands refused to allow two Turkish ministers to enter the country for campaign rallies.

Updated Date: Mar 15, 2017 10:38 AM

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