A silent protest in Turkey has sparked a global social media sympathy campaign. A defiant stand by one protester in Taksim Square overnight has reignited the campaign, writes Turkish-Australian Erdem Koç.
As anti-government protests continue to gain momentum in Turkey, they are also getting more creative.
Last night, in the middle of the now infamous Taksim Square, a man in a white shirt stood in complete stillness, staring at the large Turkish flag and poster of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on the nearby Ataturk Cultural Centre. The man had a sports bag to his side, planted on the floor. People in and around Taksim Square initially took little notice of the man.
Hours passed. The Turkish police, who have been on guard in Taksim to prevent protests, eventually noticed the man and headed over. They asked him several questions and searched his bag. The man didn't respond, continuing to stare into the distance.
It soon became obvious the man was staging a new kind of protest -- one he hoped would encourage a new, creative way of voicing opposition to the ongoing police brutality and oppression of basic human rights in Turkey.
Meanwhile, the hashtag #duranadam
, or standing man, became the number one trending topic worldwide on Twitter. The power of the silent protest quickly went viral on social media. People from all around Turkey and the world have posted images of their own "standing man" photo ...