Turkish protester's civil disobedience act in Taksim ends in custody

Turkish protester's civil disobedience act in Taksim ends in custody

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish protesters civil disobedience act in Taksim ends in custody

This DHA photo shows 'standing man' as he started the silent act of resistance, before he was joined by a large group.

A man’s single act of defiance tonight turned into a group of people’s silent struggle for the right to protest in Taksim Square.

However, after almost six hours of standing silently in Taksim Square he and the group that gathered were detained by police, according to daily Hürriyet.

Eyewitnesses said he was immediately released after being held by police for a short period of time.  

The "standing man" was identified as performance artist Erdem Gündüz.

He began standing after police conducted a bag search on him. He then stood in the same place without moving, staring at the flag of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which is hung on the Atatürk Culture Center (AKM), a scene of the struggle between police and protesters over the last three weeks. 

He was soon joined by a group of fellow demonstrators, who all came to stand in silence beside him, staring in the same direction.

News of the “standing man” began spreading on social media shortly after the act of defiance began, and the Twitter hashtag #duranadam (“standing man”) quickly became the world’s top Twitter trending topic.

The various banners and flags hanging on the AKM cultural center and the Atatürk statue were removed by police on June 11, and only two Turkish flags and an Atatürk poster remained on the AKM. The standing man has his eyes fixed on the three remaining flags.

Act will continue for a month: Claim 

An actress, Ruken Demirer, said the "standing man" was her housemate, and his act of civil disobedience would continue for a month.

However, Turkish police at the scene reportedly called on the crowd to disperse from the square, ominously echoing warnings that preceded harsh interventions in demonstrations in the square recently. They then intervened to detain members of the group that had gathered.