SOFIA Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said on Thursday his country would not accept democracy lessons from Turkey amid rising tensions between the Balkan neighbours ahead of Sunday's Bulgarian general election.
Earlier on Thursday Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticised Bulgaria for "putting pressure" on expatriate Turks, Bulgaria's largest ethic minority, ahead of the vote.
"Bulgaria does not give, but also does not accept lessons in democracy, especially from countries that do not respect rule of law," Radev told reporters.
"I want to assure you that the election in Bulgaria will pass smoothly. Bulgaria is a European country that follows its laws, not others' emotions," he said.
Bulgaria accused Turkey of meddling in its election last week after reports that a Turkish minister had campaigned for the DOST party, one of the two political factions that represents over 500,000 Bulgarian Turks.
Since then, Bulgarian security services have expelled two Turkish citizens and banned another three from entering the country.
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Toby Chopra)