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Erdogan Blames Dutch For Srebrenica Massacre As Diplomatic Spat Escalates

Erdogan Steps Up Attacks On Dutch
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WATCH: Erdogan Steps Up Attacks On Dutch

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed the Netherlands for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, in the latest jibe against the Dutch amid a growing diplomatic spat.

In a televised speech on March 14, Erdogan said the Dutch "character" was "broken" by the massacre, Europe's worst mass killing since World War II.

Erdogan was referring to the killing by Bosnian Serb forces of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where lightly armed Dutch UN peacekeepers were overrun and failed to halt the slaughter.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Erdogan's statement "a repugnant historical falsehood."

Erdogan's remarks were his latest salvo in a war of words with the Netherlands, which prevented two Turkish ministers from holding rallies to court the votes of Turkish citizens living in the Netherlands for an April 16 referendum to enhance Erdogan's powers.

Erdogan previously called the Dutch "Nazi remnants" and accused the Netherlands of "fascism."

Based on reporting by AP and AFP