Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed Europe for demanding changes to Ankara's legislation on terrorism, Anadolu reported.
In his address at an event titled "National Will in Turkish Political History" in Ankara on Thursday, Erdogan said: "Asking Turkey to revise its terror law means to give up on the cause" in ongoing talks with EU on visa-free travel.
"If the European Union wants to address a terrorist group [the PKK] instead of the Republic of Turkey, we are OK with it. Because we look at the ones who defend causes of terrorist groups the same way we look at terrorist groups."
Last week, the European Commission proposed visa-free travel to Turks as part of a deal that would see Turkey stem the flow of refugees to Europe in exchange for speeding up the candidate country's EU membership.
However, among five remaining benchmarks for Turkey to address in order to receive visa-free travel, the EU called for a change in Ankara's legislation on terrorism -- a demand that Erdogan harshly criticized and rejected.
"You see the attitude from the European Union. They say we should loosen our grip on terror. Since when are you controlling Turkey, who gave you the order?" Erdogan asked.
He also criticized Bangladesh's execution of senior Jamaat-e-Islami party leader Motiur Rahman Nizami, and noted that Turkey had asked its ambassador to Dhaka to come to Ankara.
Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday announced that Turkey's ambassador to Bangladesh had been asked to report to Ankara "for consultations" in the aftermath of hanging of Nizami in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on Wednesday.
"It is attention grabbing that executing an Islamic leader in a country where it is mainly Muslim populated and Muslims are victimized," Erdogan said. "We want to be the voice of the oppressed."
He also said Turkish nation will not give the government its blessings if the state does not stand with oppressed communities around the world.