So far the “Lady in Red” has been the iconic image of the Turkish protests against Prime Minister , but as the protests continue to widen, a new protesting tactic is capturing the imagination.
The standing man.
It all began on late June 17th around 6pm, when a man began standing in silence in Taksim Square.
— Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) June 17, 2013
The man stood in the square for eight hours, the BBC reports. Later identified as performance artist Erdem Gunduz, he had chosen his spot carefully, facing a statue of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern, secular Turkey.
According to the AFP, he originally planned to stand silently for a month.
However, soon Gunduz was eventually joined by a large crowd of people, all standing silently and staring at the statue. At 2am, Turkish police cleared the square, and 10 people were detained.
“I’m nothing,” Gunduz told the BBC. “The idea is important: why people resist the government. The government doesn’t want to understand, didn’t try to understand why people are on the streets. This is really silent resistance. I hope people stop and think ‘what happened there?'”
Despite Turkish police clearing the square, the idea has already caught on. The next day more “standing man” protesters were back in Taksim Square.
The idea even spread abroad to New York City, showing the global appeal of Turkish protests that began as simple opposition to the demolition of a park in Istanbul.
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