Turkey's 'Standing Man' wins German rights award

Turkey's 'Standing Man' wins German rights award

BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Turkeys Standing Man wins German rights award

Hürriyet photo

Turkey's "Standing Man," a performance artist who became an icon of anti-government protests this year, will receive a major German human rights award next week, the award's jury said Aug. 26.

Erdem Gündüz, a 34-year-old dancer and choreographer, will be honored for his "courageous commitment to freedom of expression and human rights" with the M100 Media Award, awarded annually by a jury of journalists.

He became known around the world by remaining motionless for hours in Istanbul's Taksim Square during protests that challenged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in June and July.

"With his silent protest, he became the icon of peaceful resistance and has been emulated around the world," said the jury which will award the prize on Sept. 5 in Potsdam, just outside Berlin.

"His weapon is creativity, his trademarks are courage and perseverance. That is what you need to promote free speech and human rights," said Potsdam Mayor and M100 chair Jann Jakobs.

Last year European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi won the award.

Previous recipients were Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who drew controversial pictures of the Prophet Muhammad, and former French Foreign Minister and founder of Doctors without Borders Bernard Kouchner.