Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 19th 2013 Contents A35
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
ISTANBUL---After weeks of sometimes violent con-
frontation with police, protesters in Turkey have
found what could be a more potent form of resist-
ance: standing still.
The trend was launched by performance artist
Erdem Gunduz, who stood silently for hours in Istan-
bul s central Taksim Square on Monday night, in
passive defiance of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan s violent crackdown on environmental pro-
testers at a park adjacent to Taksim.
The square has been sealed off from protesters
since police cleared it over the weekend, though
pedestrians can still enter.
As Gunduz stood there, others gradually began to
join him---and later to replicate his protest in other
cities in a wave of imitation driven by social media.
Gunduz apparently made no announcement before
he paused Monday evening in the square and didn t
He stood with his hands in his pockets, staring at
an image of Turkey s founding father Mustafa Kemal
Ataturk, whose admiration is rooted in his success
in imposing secular values on a largely Muslim nation
after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire 90 years
When police arrived an hour later, Turkish news
media reported, they searched his pockets and his
backpack, then left.
Gunduz stayed put. For hours.
When asked by reporters what he was doing, Turk-
ish news agency Dogan said, he responded: "It s evi-
dent. The people are not being allowed into Tak-
Witnesses began calling him "duran adam"---
"standing man." Some joined him in Taksim, while
others began doing the same in other Turkish cities.
In Ankara, the capital, a woman stood still at the
spot where a protester had been killed.
Early yesterday morning, police intervened and
dispersed the crowd around Gunduz, detaining several
It wasn t clear whether Gunduz was among those
arrested, though he was free later yesterday. Later
yesterday, others returned and began silent vigils.
Gunduz s act, amplified by social media, had a
remarkably swift effect on the protests.
Erdogan appeared to be seizing the initiative after
large weekend rallies in which he ordered Taksim
Square to be cleared.
The government has capitalised on sporadic scenes
of violence amid the generally peaceful protest move-
"We need to congratulate him (Gunduz)," said
Ozgur Volkan, who joined the standing protesters in
"He started up a very great movement." (AP)
Catholic and Lutheran officials
announced on Monday they
would mark the 500th anniver-
sary of the Reformation in 2017
as a shared event rather than
highlight the clash that split
The Vatican and the Lutheran
World Federation (LWF) presented
a report in Geneva admitting both
were guilty of harming Christian
unity in the past and describing a
growing consensus between the
two churches in recent decades.
The 500th anniversary of Martin
Luther s 95 Theses, the doctrinal
challenge that launched the Protes-
tant Reformation, will be the first
centenary celebration in the age
of ecumenism, globalisation and
the secularisation of Western soci-
"The awareness is dawning on
Lutherans and Catholics that the
struggle of the 16th century is
over," the report said. "The reasons
for mutually condemning each
other s faith have fallen by the
They now agree belief in Jesus
unites them despite lingering dif-
ferences, it said, and inspires them
to co-operate more closely to pro-
claim the Gospel in increasingly
"This is a very important step
in a healing process which we all
need and we are all praying for,"
LWF General Secretary Martin
Junge said at the report s presen-
tation in Geneva.
"The division of the church is
something we cannot celebrate but
we can see what is positive and
try to find ways towards the future
together," said Cardinal Kurt Koch,
head of the Vatican s department
to promote Christian unity.
Roman Catholicism, the world s
largest church, has about 1.2 billion
members or just over half of all
Christians. There are about 75 mil-
lion Lutherans in LWF member
churches and other Lutheran
groups around the world.
Catholics and Lutherans began
seeking theological common
ground after the 1962-1965 Second
Vatican Council, which opened the
Roman church to better relations
with other churches, and have
ironed out many of their differ-
ences over the decades.
They took a major step forward
in 1999 by agreeing a common
view on justification, the doctrine
at the core of their 16th century
Erdem Gunduz, centre, stands silently on Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early yesterday. After weeks of
confrontation with police, sometimes violent, Turkish protesters are using a new form of resistance: standing
silently. His act has sparked imitation by others in Istanbul and other cities. It has provoked widespread
comment on social media. AP PHOTO
Turkey's 'standing man'
launches new protest wave
Catholics, Lutherans jointly to
mark Reformation anniversary
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