In June 2013, protests took place in Tunisia against the government and activists decided to create different methods in protesting. As the protests widened and the population engaged, every meeting was met with violence, until one day, one individual decided to stand. On June 18th, Erdem Gundiz (Translation in Turkish is ‘standing man’) walked out on Taksim square and literally took a stand. For six hours, he stood motionlessly. He passively ignored harassment from police and people/protestors passing by. From Duran’s form of activism, many individuals that were husbands, brothers, wives sisters and fathers of Turkey took onto the streets in silent protests. Subsequently, gaining support from across Europe due to the speed of the internet. The unusual form of activism, inspired many across Europe to protest too. As the word spread across the world via the internet, a hashtag was created #duranadam or #standing man which many people adopted, not only in Turkey but in the world too via Twitter. Many citizens took pictures with him and attached the hashtag in a tweet, showing people across the world.
Duran Adam was important as he showed many people in the world that ‘silence is golden’, previously many protests in Turkey involved violence and death. However, Duran Adam showed that being silent can also send loud and powerful messages to the world. The phrase ‘silence is golden’ comes to mind. I admire Duran Adam for his patience whilst protesting, it showed how passionate he was for social change, he didn’t scream or shout, it was simple and quiet but at the same time sending powerful waves to the world and ended up having his own hashtag. Without social media, Duran Adam’s form of activism could not have gone viral, showing how important social media is when it comes to advocating social change . Duran Adam gave Turkish citizens a voice without saying a word.