Why Erdogan’s Dutch Srebrenica comments struck a chord domestically

Erdogan’s Srebrenica comments towards the Dutch are very interesting for the sole reason that it has exposed the two different histories of the Bosnian war taught in two different worlds.

Western historians often stress that the Dutch had little choice other than to withdraw and did their best to protect the Bosnians. They are at pains to reveal the lines of communication that demonstrate Dutch forces showing grave concern for the Bosnians, as well as the simple fact that they were outgunned by the Serbian forces.

In the Muslim world, the story goes that the Dutch ran away with their tail between their legs, and US President Clinton and the other Western forces only intervened AFTER Bosnians recovered their territory from the Serbs and were planning to embark on an invasion of Serbia. In other words, the invasion of a Christian country was unfathomable, but the ethnic cleansing of the ‘Turks/Bosnian’ Muslims was legitimate.

I agree both are over-simplified. But it is worth noting that the second version is taught across the North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia and Muslim communities around the world. And no counter-narrative has ever successfully displaced it.