Turkish president Erdogan has "no problems" with Netherlands; calls PM Rutte "old friend"

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gobierno de Chile). (Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gobierno de Chile))

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to restore the relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands and Germany, he said in conversation with Turkish journalists on Thursday. "We have no problems with Germany, the Netherlands or Belgium. On the contrary, those who are in government are old friends", he said, according to broadcaster NOS.

The relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands was put to the test earlier this year after the Netherlands banned Turkish politicians from coming to the Netherlands to campaign for a referendum that would give Erdogan more power. In the diplomatic row that followed, Erdogan responded by Erdogan responded by accusing the Netherlands of Nazism and fascism, imposing a number of sanctions and later accusing the Netherlands of mass murder in Srebrenica in 1995. The Netherlands refused to congratulate Erdogan when he won the referendum. 

Erdogan now told the Turkish journalists that he had "satisfactory" signals from Prime Minister Mark Rutte and others that show willingness to improve the difficult relationship again. "Of course we hope for good relations with the European Union and EU member states." Erdogan said, according to the broadcaster "They have treated me wrong, but I used to have a good relationship with Rutte, and also with Belgium. Let alone with Germany: my contacts with [President Frank-Walter] Steinmeir and Chancellor [Angela] Merkel has always been fine."