İSTANBUL - Students have been on climate strike in İstanbul as part of the global strike in around 150 countries in the world.
Challenging the generations who paved the way for climate change and pushed the planet into the Sixth Mass Extinction, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden started the fight against climate change in August 2018.
Children from all around the world, who also stage school strikes and other activities, organized two global strikes to draw attention to the climate crisis.
Children of Generation Z from Turkey joined the climate strike today.
Children gathered on Kadıköy Square in the Asian side of İstanbul and chanted slogans, "Save the planet, not corporations", "zero carbon", "Change the system, not the climate."
They began the demonstration under rain, resembling the stubbornness of Greta who says, "Our homework is to clean your mess."
Making the opening speech, limate activist Tuba Sağlam began her words asking, "Why are we here today?"
"What unites us is the climate crisis. Beyond the climate crisis, a total ecologic crisis... This is a great and unprecedented crisis which more of us began to see its indications. As we understand, this is a crisis that we are going into faster and faster.
"There are many questions that we need to find answers to and this is one of the most important ones of them: What is the value and meaning of survival and only humans' survival while millions of living species in the world face extinction?"
"To defend the right to peaceful coexistence of our children and all living beings in a livable planet, change of the system that spawned this crisis must be ensured.
"For this reason, we have become a party to the call, 'We are here because you stole our future' by the students who lead the climate movement in all around the world and Fridays for Future.
"It is now out of the question to completely stop the disasters that this ecological crisis will cause. We are living in the last days of our old world. But as we see the truth as what it is, we know what we need to do; as we look at ourselves, we find the courage to do these. Learning lessons from mistakes, we can build a new world together."
Dozens of Generation Z students, including Atlas Sarrafoğlu and Selin Gören, two of the leading children of the climate strikes in Turkey, began marching to Yoğurtçu Park.
During the walk, we spoke with Ömer Madra, an academic, rights defender and radio programmer at Açık Radyo.
"I don't want to talk big but it is very possible that this is one of the greatest mass demonstrations in history.
"Australia, of course, was the first in the morning. Australia experienced the greatest demonstration of its history. The participation was around 300 thousand people. Children were there with scientists and academics who support them.
"At night, there will be demonstrations in 850 places in the US and I think the movement Greta started will be the biggest thing that is done for the climate."
Eylem Menekşeler, a fifth-grade student, carries a banner that says, "Stay away from plastic" and "One who knows she did not inherit the Earth from his father but borrowed it from her children would not damage the environment because she loves her children."
After the march, about a dozen musicians and bands gave a concert.