Dutch PM calls Erdoğan Srebrenica massacre claim 'historical falsehood'
THE HAGUEDutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's claim on March 14 that the Netherlands was responsible for the deaths of some 8,000 Muslim men and women in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
"He (Erdoğan) continues to escalate the situation," Rutte said in an interview quoted by Dutch news agency ANP, adding "it's a repugnant historical falsehood", as a diplomatic row between The Hague and Ankara reached a new low point.
Erdoğan on March 14 held the Netherlands responsible for Europe’s worst mass killing since World War II.
“One must not open fire on a medical team even during war. But if you are like the Dutch you can do so, because we know the Netherlands and the Dutch from the Srebrenica massacre. We know how depraved their character is from how they slaughtered 8,000 Bosnians there,” Erdoğan said at an event commemorating Doctor’s Day in Turkey.
“Nobody should give us a lesson on civilization,” he added.
Almost 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were then massacred and their bodies thrown in mass graves in the biggest incident of bloodshed on European soil since World War II.
The incident caused the Dutch government's resignation in 2002 after it finally admitted that it could have done more -- and the incident remains a source of national soul-searching to this day.