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Photograph: EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

Threats about Turkey's accession process towards EU membership - a bloc made up of "fascists," according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - will not intimidate the country, Erodgan said Tuesday.

Erdogan's tough language came despite warnings from German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he must stop making references to the World War II era and linking modern European leaders to Nazis and fascist, something he has routinely done in recent weeks.

The Turkish leader said that - after the upcoming referendum on a presidential system, set for April 16 - there would have to be talks with the EU about the impact of recent events. He cautioned the current situation could not last.

"Then we will sit at the table and talk," he said. The president was again critical of Dutch police using force to break up protests by supporters in Rotterdam after a Turkish minister was banned. Turkey would ask for an account, he said.

He referenced both the accession talks and a readmission deal under which Turkey takes back unauthorized migrants attempting to reach Europe.

"They cannot threaten us with any of these any longer. This is now over," Erdogan said in Ankara. Turkey is a candidate country to join the bloc, though officials in Europe increasingly voice concern about its chances.

The president also made a reference to Deniz Yucel, a jailed correspondent for German newspaper Die Welt. He called Yucel a "terrorist agent" who hid in the consulate.

"From now on, there will be no allowances for any European, under any sort of capacity, to carry out espionage in our land," Erdogan said.

"This Europe is the Europe of before the Second World War. A racist, fascist and cruel Europe," he said, charging that the bloc is hostile to Turks and Muslims.

Merkel said on Monday said "the Nazi comparisons from the Turkish side have to stop" adding this was "without ifs or buts."

Turkish ministers have been banned from several events in Europe as they aim to whip up votes among citizens abroad for a constitutional referendum next month on vastly expanding the powers of the presidency. Critics warn it will erode democracy.

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