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TURKEY’S branch of environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion warned of “our darkest hour” as it held its first demonstration yesterday, calling on people to “rise up” against the government.
Campaigners gathered in Istanbul’s Besiktas district demanding government action to head off an impending catastrophe as the world faces its “sixth mass extinction event.”
Elif Unal explained that the group had a “duty to act on behalf of our children” as “humanity finds itself embroiled in an event unprecedented in its history.”
Climate activists held demonstrations in at least 80 cities across 33 countries starting yesterday, with Extinction Rebellion planning further protests and activities throughout the week.
The group draws inspiration from the civil rights and suffragette movements and enjoys the backing of hundreds of scientists and academics in taking direct action to expose government inaction on climate change.
Activists in Turkey are organising around three demands: for the government to “tell the truth about the climate crisis,” for the parliament to approve the Paris Agreement and for a “national citizen’s auditors board” to be created to monitor the changes.
In a rallying call, Ms Unal declared the group “in rebellion against our government and the corrupt, inept institutions that threaten our future,” calling on “every principled citizen to rise with us.”
She warned that the government’s “wilful complicity” has shattered meaningful democracy in favour of profit and short-term gain.
“The government of Turkey should comply with the scientific truth. It shouldn’t shut its ears to the truth.
“Parliament should approve the climate agreement that it signed in 2015 in Paris and this shame should end,” she said.
“We refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now. We act in peace, with ferocious love of these lands in our hearts. We act on behalf of life.”
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