Dutch PM says Erdogan massacre claim 'historical falsehood'

It is the latest example of rising tensions after Dutch officials refused to permit two Turkish ministers into the country for campaign rallies.

On Saturday, Cavusoglu was denied landing rights by the Netherlands, where he planned to hold a rally in Rotterdam.

The Netherlands is home to some 400,000 people of Turkish origin, and Ankara is keen to harness their votes.

Violent clashes erupted after the two ministers were prevented from addressing rallies in Rotterdam, where they hoped to drum up support for a referendum to give greater power to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

During his campaign to garner votes for the constitutional referendum, Erdogan tackled the sensitive issue of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre when a Dutch battalion of United Nations peacekeepers failed to protect civilians from Bosnian Serb forces.

Earlier, Turkey's Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was blocked by Dutch police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, NOS News reported.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement Tuesday said the EU's stance on Turkey was "short-sighted" and "carried no value" for Turkey.

In a neck and neck race, the parties of either Rutte or populist firebrand Geert Wilders could end up the most votes.

The French presidential election begins next month, with the far-right Marine Le Pen ahead in one poll on Monday, and in September, Alternative for Germany, a right-wing, eurosceptic party, is likely to win seats for the first time in the German federal parliament.

"We are doing exactly what they did to us".

In addition, the Dutch security forces detained Turkey's Chargé d'affaires in The Hague, along with other Turkish diplomats and drivers of the embassy, and temporarily seized their vehicles with diplomatic plates. "We applied only political sanctions for now".

Erdogan was being "cynical" in calling The Netherlands fascist when he was "building an authoritarian regime in Turkey", Verhofstadt added.

Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the Danish Prime Minister, proposed Sunday to delay a visit by Binali Yilderim, his Turkish counterpart, given the escalating feud between the Netherlands and Turkey. European Union spokesman Margaritis Schinas said it was essential to avoid further escalation and find ways to calm the situation.

  • Leroy Wright