Turkey President Erdogan accuses German Chancellor Merkel of supporting terrorists

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gestures during a campaign stop in Breda Netherlands

In a televised speech, Erdogan referred to the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, eastern Bosnia, in 1995, and blamed a Dutch battalion of United Nations peacekeepers who failed to halt the slaughter by Bosnian Serb forces. "We know how rotten their character is from their massacre of 8,000 Bosnians there".

Turkey has announced a series of political sanctions against the Netherlands over its refusal to allow two Turkish ministers to campaign there.

He renewed accusations that Germany supported "terrorists" battling Turkey and that it backed the "no" campaign in the Turkish referendum, arguing that Berlin did not want to see a strong Turkey.

"To talk about fixing the relationship when the president of Turkey is basically rewriting the history on what happened in Srebrenica, he really has to tone [it] down", he said as he was campaigning in The Hague.

Erdogan has warned that the Netherlands will "pay the price" for its "shameless" treatment of Turkey's ministers. The EU has called on Turkey to cease "excessive statements".

The deal has sought to stem the flow of migrants from Turkey to the European Union, in particular Greece, by land and sea routes.

Erdogan's government also advised parliament to withdraw from a Dutch-Turkish friendship group.

Erdogan said Tuesday there could be more sanctions but did not elaborate.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also backed the Netherlands in its diplomatic fight with Turkey, pledging her full support and solidarity with the Dutch and saying the Nazi jibes were unacceptable.

Turkey has also summoned the Dutch envoy three times, presenting him with two formal protest notes addressed to the Dutch government.

The pair were blocked from addressing Turkish voters in Rotterdam on Saturday, with one of them even escorted to the German border. "We didn't create this crisis or bring it to this stage", Kurtulmus said.

Turkey has already responded furiously to fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Germany's refusal to give permission for ministers to hold rallies there, with Erdogan comparing such action to "Nazi practices".

Turkey and the Netherlands have been locked in a crisis after the Dutch government banned Turkish ministers from holding rallies on its territory ahead of an April referendum on boosting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers.



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