A Turkish performance artist who says he is “nothing” has become a symbol of Turkish protests. Erdem Gunduz has been dubbed the "Standing Man" after he stood motionless in Taksim Square for eight hours, between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time, when he and other silent protesters were dispersed by the police.
According to a Turkish news site, the country’s broadcasting watchdog, RTUK, has fined several TV channels for their coverage of the Gezi protests. Halk TV, Cem TV, EM TV and Ulusal TV have all been reprimanded for live-streaming content that is "harming the physical, moral and mental development of children and young people."
…had it not been for social media, the government would likely have succeeded in hiding the protests from many Turks. Turkey is a country that jails more journalists than Iran, and it is hardly surprising that the mainstream Turkish media, which has been additionally co-opted by the authorities through financial measures, broadcast pictures of beauty contests and cooking shows for several days while parts of Istanbul and other cities were blanketed with tear gas.
“On Friday [May 31] I saw on Facebook that there were riots, and I came here [to the center of Istanbul],” a 29-year old teacher named Ulas said in a bar near Taksim Square. “There were many people and we fought them [the police] all night. But on Saturday I spoke to some of my friends here in Istanbul, and they had no idea what was going on. One, a leftist, was at the zoo. This is because they were watching penguin documentaries on the mainstream channels.”
“Social media is a bliss. I even tweeted to Jack Dorsey, thanking him for inventing such a big thing that gives all information to people who want to stay impartial and get to the real knowledge through checking through all this information and using their minds.”
25-year old Esin, who has been active in the Turkish protests, both in Gezi park and online.