blog on the onging conflict in Turkey. It featured on the 18th June.Mick Hall with a piece from his
Turkey police receive orders to arrest protesters who stand still, proving Marx's dictum: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."
A man’s single act of defiance in Taksim Square last night has turned into a silent struggle across the country for the right to protest.
One man, later identified as performance artist Erdem Gündüz, started standing silently around 6 p.m. in the middle of Taksim Square, where police are limiting access following the crackdown on Gezi Park protestors on June 15.
The young man 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 around 300 fellow demonstrators, who all came to stand in silence beside him, staring in the same direction. The group included renowned Turkish designer Barbaros Şansal.
Gündüz, the standing still man who started the protest, left the scene shortly before police intervened against the protestors around 2 a.m. today. Ten people, who “insisted on standing” were taken into custody, Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet reported.
Gündüz later said his protest targeted both the media and the government. 'The real violence is not showing what is going on,' the protestor told the BBC’s Turkish service. 'Four people have died, there are thousands of wounded but the media, unfortunately, have shown us nothing.'
The government is the main focus of Gündüz’s reaction. 'Opening the Taksim square [to pedestrians] as if nothing happened, planting trees in Gezi Park ... These are not good intentions,' he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
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.
People across the country were quick to pick up the new protests, and hundreds of photos showing people standing still have been shared so far.
One photo showed people standing still in the central Anatolian province of Sivas, in front of the Madımak Hotel where 33 intellectuals and two hotel workers died when radical Islamists attacked the hotel on July 2, 1993. Another photo showed three people standing in front of the offices of weekly magazine Agos, where Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink was shot dead on Jan. 19, 2007.
Meanwhile Al Jazeera reports Police in Turkey overnight have arrested 84 people following raids across several cities. The State controled Turkish Radio and Television Corporation took a break from putting out soaps and game shows, to report 25 people had been detained in the capital Ankara, 13 in Eskisehir to the west, and "many" in Turkey's biggest city Istanbul.
Ankara's police 'anti-terror department,' however, said it had no information on the reports. NTV television said the raids targeted left-wing groups.The arrests followed two weeks of anti-government protests.
The detained people are accused of damaging public property, inciting violence and presumable standing still, although the state prosecuter seems bewildered over which statute such an imfamouse act comes under. Erdogan's AK Party governments seems determined to prove Karl Marx's dictum: 'History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.'
More on those arrested here.