Turkey's foreign minister says EU comments on rule of law 'out of line'

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in Ankara, Turkey November 22, 2018. Cem Ozdel/Turkish Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey on Friday criticized the European Union’s foreign policy chief for her comments on the rule of law in Turkey, a day after she and another official rebuked Ankara over arrests of journalists and the detention of a Kurdish politician.

In an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized the comments from Federica Mogherini as “out of line” after she took Turkey to task at a news conference on Thursday over detentions of journalists and academics and said she hoped that politician Selahattin Demirtas would be released soon.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled this week that Turkey should swiftly process Demirtas’ case, saying his pre-trial detention had gone on longer than could be justified.

Cavusoglu described the ECHR ruling as motivated by politics, not the law, and said the case would be determined by Turkey’s courts.

Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Dominic Evans