• Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan lays flowers near the marble stone monument to remember the Srebrenica victims in Potocari, 120 km northeast of Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Sunday, July 11, 2010. Thousands gathered in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica to bury hundreds of massacre victims on the 15th anniversary of the worst crime in Europe since the Nazi era. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

Erdogan lashes out at Dutch over Srebrenica

A new verbal attack

In a new verbal attack against the Dutch amid their growing diplomatic spat, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held the Netherlands responsible for Europe’s worst mass killing since World War II.

Erdogan was referring to a Dutch battalion of the United Nations peacekeepers who failed to halt the slaughter by Bosnian Serb forces of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, eastern Bosnia, in 1995.

In a speech televised live on Tuesday Erdogan said: “We know the Netherlands and the Dutch from the Srebrenica massacre. We know how rotten their character is from their massacre of 8,000 Bosnians there.”

Ankara earlier rejected the EU’s call for de-escalating a diplomatic row over Turkish political campaigning abroad, saying the words out of Brussels have “no value for us.”

The European Commission urged Turkey to “calm down the situation” after the dispute hit a new low with a Dutch decision to bar a rally at the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam over the weekend.

The Turkish government hit back, calling the EU’s position “incorrect” and “short-sighted.”

The EU’s statement “fuels extremism, such as xenophobia and anti-Turkish sentiments, because the call to refrain from excessive statements and actions that risk further exacerbating the situation is made only to Turkey,” the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

After the cancellation of rallies in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands, Erdogan has repeatedly lashed out at EU leaders.

He called the Dutch government “Nazi remnants,” accused Germany of supporting “Nazi practices” and said German Chancellor Angela Merkel supports terrorists.