Photographs: Pınar Tarcan - bianet
Click to read the article in Turkish
Initiated upon the call of activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden in August 2018, the global school strikes for climate have been taking place for 30 weeks now. The generation Z from 123 countries went on a global school strike today (March 15) upon the call of Greta.
Listening the call of Greta, students from Turkey also skipped school and came together in the parks of İstanbul, İzmir, Iğdır, Ankara and Bursa. Students made a call to everyone who has played a role in the current global climate change, especially politicians and businesspeople.
In İstanbul, students gathered in Bebek Park in İstanbul at 12 p.m., carrying banners which read, "There is no planet B", "I want a livable world when I grow up" and "Don't play with my future, don't burn coal." They also walked together in the park and sat under the trees.
Atlas Sarrafoğlu, one of the students joining the strike in Bebek, also made a speech like his friends. Starting his speech by saying, "Welcome to our school strike," Sarrafoğlu stated the following:
"Today, we, as the youngsters, have come here to show that we are concerned about our future. We didn't go to school today. Because school can wait, but climate change doesn't. Today, it is only cold in İstanbul, but what if there was a flood of what if it was so hot that we couldn't go outside.
"Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes are increasing because of climate change, dams are getting dry due to extreme temperatures, plants are decreasing in number, you have created it. You have created it, you burnt the coal which has led to climate change, you used the oil, you, adults, cut down the forests. We didn't pollute the seas as children, we didn't throw the plastics found in the stomachs of whales, it is not we who erected concrete buildings.
"Scientists say that we have only 12 years left to stop the climate change. We will not die all together 12 years later, but there will be nothing left to do. 12 years from now, I will be 23 years old.
"I am asking to adults: 'What will I do in a world, which is sure to get worse when I am 23? Why should I earn money, get education or dream that I will have a child one day if the world will become a worse place?
"You like it or not, the change has started. The world polluted by adults will be cleaned up by children. Now, we want only one thing from you adults: Don't make this transformation harder or take action immediately."
Samra, who came from Dalyan to İstanbul to join the strike, was in Bebek Park with the banner, "Harry Potter won't come, it fell to lot."
Speaking to bianet after the strike, Samra said, "Before I came here, I didn't expect that it would be so crowded. I am a bit tired, but I am also very happy. We are giving an ear to the call of Greta. It is not too late to save the planet.
"Before I came here, I said to my Science teacher, 'I won't come to school this Friday to support the climate.' My teacher answered, 'Who is Climate?' I am happy to be here. I will also be here in May."
Children ended their strike at 2 p.m. and agreed to come together again in May 2019. (PT/SD)