Cyprus Law | Standing Man – Duran Adam

Cyprus Law | Standing Man – Duran Adam

The violence of Turkish police towards protesters has led to them finding alternative ways to express their discontent. These include beating pots and pans in the evening, whistling, clapping hands, switching lights on and off and, most effective of all, silence and standing still. The ‘duran adam’ standing still protest has one major advantage; it is not illegal.

This new form of protest came about when, on Monday (17.06.2013), performance artist Erdem Gündüz stood stock-still in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, hands in his pockets, staring silently at a picture of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. For five hours he did not move and other protesters  spontaneously began to follow his example.

‘The Turkish police didn’t know how to react. Erdogan had banned demonstrations on Taksim Square, and the government had announced that anyone caught protesting there would be treated as a terrorist. But these people were simply standing, saying nothing, and making no demands. Finally, the police dispersed the silent crowd. Gündüz was detained and interrogated, but eventually they let him go.’

Whether this form of protest will spread and be maintained is down to whether the government resolves the deep resentment which has formed within sections of the community. It seems unlikely that Erdogan will compromise and he is likely to increase his attempts to Muslimise Turkey. His problem is that the country has an East-West divide, much like the UK’s North-South divide, which is ultimately unreconcilable and to promote just one way of life will inevitably lead to disaster.

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