Turkey's president has sharply criticized Western countries that expressed concern about possible human rights violations in Turkey's sweeping crackdown after an attempted coup.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with France 24 that was broadcast Saturday that Turkey has no choice but to impose stringent security measures in the wake of the failed insurrection on July 15.

Erdogan says he cannot understand why Turkey's "Western friends fail to see it that way."

Turkey has launched a sweeping crackdown that has included a three-month state of emergency and the detention or dismissal of tens of thousands of people in the military, the education system and other institutions. Some European leaders say they are concerned that the large-scale purges could jeopardize basic freedoms.