Zeman also criticized the EU plan to pay 3 billion euros to help Turkey stop the flow of refugees to Europe from the conflict in Syria, in exchange for accelerated accession talks and future visa-free travel in the EU for Turkish citizens.
“The Roman Empire, before it collapsed, also paid tribute money to barbarians for them not to pilfer its territory” the Czech website Prague Post reported Zeman as saying.
He also stated that Turkey is better able to welcome the refugees it hosts, a figure currently estimated at around 2 million, because an overwhelming majority of the country shares the same religion as Syrians.
Warning against the risk posed by Turkey and Muslim immigration, Zeman said the “transfer of Islamic habits” to Europe was dangerous, especially with regard to women's rights.
“I expect the Turkish ambassador to send a diplomatic note to the Prague Castle in protest at my statements” Zeman added.