On June 17, 2013, at Taksim Square, Istanbul, a solitary figure stood silently in front of a portrait of the founder of the modern, secular Turkish state, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in an act of non-violent protest against the Erdoğan government. News of the protest spread rapidly on social media – #Duranadam, #standingman, were instantly registered, trending hashtags – inspiring a succession of similar, supportive actions at Taksim and elsewhere across Turkey. In the wake of a police crackdown at anti-government demonstrations during 2013–14 – action that resulted in eleven deaths and injury to more than 8,000 people – the passive nature of the resistance was meet with strong admiration by media and fellow protestors.
The “standing man” was later identified as Erdem Gündüz, an established local performance artist and choreographer of dance and theatre (see: coeffiecient of art). In recognition of the “standing man” action, Gündüz was awarded the 2014 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent by the Human Rights Foundation (see: 1:1 scale); a prize he shared with the Russian punk group Pussy Riot.