Turkey's president says membership in the European Union is one of Turkey's strategic goals and hopes visa-free travel will bring the country closer to achieving that.

The remarks come just days after the Turkish leader said his country would not modify its anti-terror legislation, a condition set by the European Union for Turkish citizens to benefit from visa-free travel to EU countries.

In a written statement Monday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey's EU membership would be a "source of inspiration and stability for the region."

Erdogan's Europea Day statement expressed hope that a visa-liberalization agreement between the EU and Turkey would contribute toward speeding up Turkey's drive to join the EU.