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Erdem Gunduz (center) stands in Instanbul's Taksim Square early Tuesday. After weeks of clashes with police, many Turkish protesters were inspired to emulate Gunduz, and stand silently. (AP)

The 'Standing Man' Of Turkey: Act Of Quiet Protest Goes Viral

by Andy Carvin
Jun 18, 2013

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Andy Carvin

As protests against the Turkish government enter their third week, activists are taking increasingly creative measures to maintain their momentum.

Over the weekend, police removed their tent city and re-opened Istanbul's Taksim Square to traffic, while maintaining a strong presence in the area. This might have seemed like the end of it for many protesters, until a lone man decided to take a stand, literally, against the government. For more than six hours Monday night, Erdem Gunduz stood motionless in Taksim Square, passively ignoring any prodding or harassment from police and people passing by.

His unusual form of protest has inspired activists in Turkey and around the world to assume the same pose. He's even become his own meme, as "standing man" (duran adam, in Turkish) supporters upload their own protest photos to Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.

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