France's foreign minister has urged Turkey to respect rights and freedoms in the aftermath of a failed coup, saying democracy is the best defense against those trying to defy it.

Jean-Marc Ayrault said in Ankara on Monday that France understands Turkey's need to pursue the coup plotters but said the country must respect the rule of law.

Turkey declared a 90-day state of emergency and began a massive crackdown on a movement led by a U.S.-based Muslim cleric whom it accuses of orchestrating the failed coup.

The state of emergency, which was extended this month by another 90 days, allows authorities to detain suspects for up to 30 days and limits their access to lawyers.

Ayrault says: "lawyers must be able to conduct their profession freely."