A single man stood silently in Istanbul’s Taksim Square for hours Monday night, defying police who broke up weekend anti-government protests with tear gas and water cannon and drawing hundreds of others to his vigil.
For more than five hours, he appeared to stare at a portrait of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish state. Police eventually moved in to arrest many of those who joined him, but whether Erdem Gunduz — a performance artist quickly dubbed the “standing man” — was in custody was unclear early Tuesday.
Turkey has been wracked by more than two weeks of protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But many of those who joined Gunduz late Monday said they were standing only for peace, not taking sides.