The diplomatic scandal between Turkey and the Netherlands continued for a fourth day on Tuesday, just hours ahead of the Dutch general election on Wednesday, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again accused the Netherlands of state terrorism and having a “rotten” character as the diplomatic spat between the two countries deepens, adding he would mobilize the Islamic world to fight xenophobia, racism and Islamophobia.
Speaking at a medical conference in Ankara on Tuesday, Erdogan accused the Netherlands of being responsible for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian War. Dutch peacekeepers have been accused of standing down and letting Bosnian Serb forces kill up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in the city considered a UN “safe area.”
“We know the Netherlands and the Dutch from the Srebrenica massacre,” Erdogan told his audience. “We know how rotten their character is from their massacre of 8,000 Bosnians there. Nobody should try to give us lessons on morality, especially not those who have blood on their hands.”
“The Netherlands, with its display of state terrorism, has caused huge damage to Europe and the EU,” Erdogan said on Tuesday as cited by the Hurriyet. “Now, for those who want to cooperate with the EU, it has ceased to be a symbol of human rights and freedom. Europe is too important to be left at the mercy of rogue states.”
But it was the statement by Erdogan’s foreign minister Melvut Cavusoglu that was more notable than the, by now repetitive Erdogan, because what Cavusoglu said was far more accurate than Erdogan’s deranged accusations of fascism this, and naxism that..
The Turkish Foreign Minister accused the European Union of resorting to double standards in relations with Turkey. “Do you know why? It is due to fear… The European Union is falling apart,” the foreign minister said, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.
Cavusoglu pointed out that the European countries were united around certain values, which were now “disappearing one-by-one” and added that “the future of Europe will not be pleasant at all.”
For those who may have missed the events over the past few days, Turkish-EU relations have collapsed in recent days amid the Netherlands’ refusal to let Turkish officials organize demonstrations supporting the constitutional amendments that will be subject to the referendum scheduled for April 16 and, if endorsed, will give more powers to country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara reacted furiously, promising reciprocal actions and launching sanctions against the Netherlands, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan labeled the Dutch authorities’ behavior as “Nazism.” On Monday, Ankara suspended high-level political contacts with the Netherlands and sent the country a diplomatic note, criticizing the treatment of Cavusoglu. Dutch authorities, in turn, demanded an apology for being compared to Nazis.
The diplomatic fallout has boosted the approval rating of Dutch anti-immigration populist Geert Wilders, although as Bloomberg notes, it is not clear if it will be enough just hours before the Netherlands general election.