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Turkey’s ‘standing man’ boosts protest

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Erdem Gunduz stands on Taksim square on Tuesday.— Photo: AFP
Erdem Gunduz stands on Taksim square on Tuesday.— Photo: AFP

After weeks of sometimes violent confrontation with police, protesters in Turkey have found what could be a more potent form of resistance — standing still.

The trend was launched by performance artist Erdem Gunduz, who stood silently for hours in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Monday night, in passive defiance of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s violent crackdown on protesters at a park adjacent to Taksim. The square has been sealed off from protesters since police cleared it over the weekend, though pedestrians can still enter.

As Mr. Gunduz stood there, others began to join him and later to replicate his protest in other cities in a wave driven by social media.

Mr. Gunduz apparently made no announcement before he paused on Monday evening in the square. He stood with his hands in his pockets, staring at an image of Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

When police arrived an hour later, they searched his pockets and his backpack, then left. Mr. Gunduz stayed put, for hours. — AP


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