06/19/2013 05:09 EDT | Updated 08/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Turkey's deputy PM gives 'standing man' protest nod of approval

ANKARA, Turkey - The new form of resistance that is spreading through Turkey has received a nod of approval from the country's deputy prime minister.

Bulent Arinc told reporters Wednesday that the protest by hundreds of people standing motionless for hours in streets and squares were peaceful and "pleasing to the eye." He urged protesters, however, not to obstruct traffic and not to endanger their health.

It was the first government comment on the passive protest that was started by a lone protester who stood still for some eight hours on Istanbul's Taksim Square on Monday.

A police crackdown that began May 31 against environmentalists and other activists in Taksim Square set off more than two-weeks of anti-government protests.

Police dispersed pockets of protesters who set up barricades in two cities overnight Tuesday.