Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned what he says are suggestions in Europe to sink human traffickers' vessels and leave migrants "to their deaths."

European Union leaders will hold an emergency summit Thursday to discuss ways of stemming migrant trafficking after a boat carrying hundreds of people destined for Europe capsized off Libya.

Experts have discussed plans to destroy traffickers' empty vessels but have never mentioned they would target boats with people onboard.

However, Erdogan suggested Wednesday the European plans could pave the way for ships being sunk while carrying migrants.

He didn't specify how, but spoke of "statements coming from Europe preparing the ground for (vessels) to be sunk ... while transporting migrants."

Erdogan added he condemned the approach of sinking ships and "leaving (migrants) to their deaths."