Criticizing European countries for attacking Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte cannot look him in the face anymore.
Erdoğan’s remarks came during a press conference ahead of his visit to Kazakhstan at İstanbul Atatürk Airport’s government guest house.
Blasting Europe for its obsession with him, his party and Turkey, Erdoğan warned EU countries about making a choice as to where they stand in relation to Turkey.
“Will it win you votes to attack Erdoğan and Turkey? How far are you going to go? What is going to happen at international meetings now? Would you like it to be the way it happened with the Dutch prime minister? He cannot look me in the face anymore, and I don’t even look at him. Look at his situation, he cannot even form a government,” said Erdoğan.
Tensions remain high between the two countries since two Turkish ministers were prevented from holding political rallies in the Netherlands for a constitutional referendum and Dutch police used force to disperse Turks protesting the incidents in Rotterdam.
Erdoğan said Dutch Prime Minister Rutte had lost their friendship following the ban on Turkish ministers speaking in the Netherlands.
The relations between the two NATO allies were further strained upon Erdoğan’s remarks holding Dutch UN peacekeepers responsible for the massacre by Serb forces of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, eastern Bosnia, in 1995.
“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,” Erdoğan said, calling the Netherlands “Nazi remnants, fascists.”
Condemning Erdoğan’s remarks, Rutte said it was a “disgusting distortion of history” and added: “We will not lower ourselves to this level. It is totally unacceptable.”