Ankara is currently in tense negotiations with the United States over Erdogan's plan to militarily carve out a large swathe of territory along the Turkish-Syrian border which would serve as a buffer zone of sorts where US-backed Kurdish militias could not operate.
Erdogan said one million refugees could settle in the new buffer territory, thus alleviating the crisis on Turkish soil, and ultimately for Europe as well.
Turkey sees the YPG core of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as a terrorist extension of the outlawed PKK. Turkey has of late vowed to carve out the proposed 'safe' territory on a unilateral basis if it can't make progress with Washington.
Also during the speech Turkey's president complained his nation "did not receive the support needed from the world" to help it cope with the refugee crisis through the eight-year long war.
Erdogan issued a 'with us or against us' ultimatum to the world on Thursday:
"You either support us to have a safe zone in Syria, or we will have to open the gates. Either you support us or no one should feel sorry. We would like to host 1 million refugees in the safe zone," he said.