A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Turkish Neologisms and the New Protest: The Standing Man and "Çapuling"

The latest form of protest throughout Turkey is nonviolent and quiet: beginning with a single defiant man standing in Taksim Square, the method, dubbed Duran Adam, "the standing man," has spread to hundreds of men and women. After the renewed violence when Gezi Park was cleared over the weekend, the "standing" protests, quiet ad peaceable as they are, are a clear challenge to the authorities. Even the linguists at the Language Log blog have noted how duran adam has become the latest term to enter the lexicon. They had previously noted, though I had not, the arrival of the Anglo-Turkish neologism "Çapuling," adopted by Turkish protesters after Prime Minister Erdoğan referred to the demonstrators as çapulcu, "looters." Demonstrators redubbed Gezi Park as "Çapulistan."

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