Silent 'Standing Man' Alters Turkey Protests

Performance artist takes stand after police raid, others follow his lead

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2013 8:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – Turkish protesters said over the weekend they planned to hold their ground in Taksim Square, and one man is leading the way, the BBC reports. Performance artist Erdem Gunduz stood for eight hours in the square beginning at about 6pm yesterday, facing a portrait of Kemal Ataturk, who founded today's secular Turkey. Gunduz, who earned the title "duranadam" ("standing man") kept silent, as some 300 others joined him—and others copied the protest elsewhere in Turkey, the AP notes.

Police eventually broke up the protest around 2am today, detaining 10 people who wouldn't leave, the Guardian reports. The "standing man" wasn't the first artistic protest in the square: A German musician had been playing piano concerts for demonstrators, with some lasting up to 14 hours, the Guardian notes. The pianist, Davide Martello, says his instrument was confiscated during Saturday's raid, after which police sealed off the square. The BBC reports that it reopened yesterday.

Erdem Gunduz, left, and dozens of people stand silently in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
Erdem Gunduz, left, and dozens of people stand silently in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.   (AP Photo)
Plainclothes police officers detain people during a silent protest in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
Plainclothes police officers detain people during a silent protest in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.   (AP Photo)
Erdem Gunduz, foregound, and dozens of people stand silently in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
Erdem Gunduz, foregound, and dozens of people stand silently in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.   (AP Photo)
Erdem Gunduz, center, stands silently in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
Erdem Gunduz, center, stands silently in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
A view of people standing silently in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
A view of people standing silently in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013.   (AP Photo)
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