Defying a police lockdown, Erdem Gunduz stood silently in the middle of Istanbul's Taksim Square. Alone, the performance artist carried no signs or slogans — just his backpack, some water bottles and a determination to hold his ground against what he viewed as government overreach.

Gunduz stood in solidarity with protesters who were aggressively evicted from nearby Gezi Park in the days before, in early June of last year. They were protesting proposed construction of a shopping mall in the park, one of the few green areas in Istanbul. Protests grew into broader demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

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As Gunduz stood in silent defiance of police orders, others joined him and soon the hashtag #Duranadam, or standing man, went viral.

At 8:00 a.m. however police descended on the square and arrested several protesters. Gunduz left the square unscathed. With this peaceful demonstration Gunzu became a symbol of resistance.

Check out this Storyful for more on the Standing Man.

Video credits:
Directed and produced by Dario Jurican
Camera and editing by Igor Jelinovic

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