The diplomatic rift between Turkey and the Netherlands widened yesterday following European criticism of the Turkish president’s power-grab.

 

Rutte

 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the failure of Dutch peacekeepers to prevent the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Bosnia showed the “rotten character” of the Netherlands.

 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte hit back, calling Mr Erdogan’s comments a “disgusting distortion of history.”

 

“We will not lower ourselves to this level,” he said.

 

Mr Rutte’s hardline posturing failed to impress Islamophobic Party of Freedom leader Geert Wilders, his main rival in today’s general election.

 

In a TV debate Mr Wilders said: “You are being taken hostage by Erdogan. Close the Dutch borders.”

 

Mr Rutte replied: “That’s a totally fake solution,” before attacking Mr Wilders’s support for “Nexit.”

 

 

 

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