An ongoing political power struggle reached a boiling point in Turkey, resulting in the deaths of at least 265 people after a failed military attempt to overthrow the government erupted Friday (July 15). Speaking from an undisclosed location Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addressed the calamity in a news conference Saturday, the New York Times reports.
In addition to casualties, 1,440 people were injured and 2,839 military forces have been detained in what Yildirim described as a “stain on the history of democracy.”
The violent clash began late Friday with military forces taking over two bridges in Istanbul. Soldiers also stormed the streets in military tanks and torched government buildings.
Turkey. Army has sealed both bridges over Bosphurus. Soldiers on streets. Planes overhead.
— Tim Marshall (@Itwitius) July 15, 2016
CNN Turks was interrupted by soldiers during a live broadcast, forcing the news outlet off the air. One journalist was reportedly killed in the incident.
WATCH: Dramatic moments at CNN Turk as rogue soldiers are detained pic.twitter.com/G803dXkyv8
— BNO News (@BNONews) July 16, 2016
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan encouraged supporters to peacefully protest against the attempted military coup, which he blames on Fethullah Gulen, a 75-year-old Muslim imam living in exile in Pennsylvania amid political conflict with Yildirim.
Though Gulen’s chose to leave Turkey over a decade ago, Erdogan accuses him of influencing the ill-fated governmental takeover.