Turkey plans first research base in Antarctica
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
A group of Turkish scientists will travel to Antarctica in the near future to establish a Turkish base for scientific research, the head of the first Turkish polar research center has said, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 20.
The team will carry out pre-feasibility studies for the base, said Burcu Özsoy, director of Istanbul Technical University Polar Research Center, also known as ITU PolReC.
Özsoy said the scientific study was important to collect information on climate change.
Several countries have been working for 70 years in the fields of physical sciences, earth sciences and living sciences, and Turkey also has the potential to work in these three sciences, she said.
“It would be a very proud moment when a Turkish flag flies there [in Antarctica],” she added.
Last year in April, in a historic first, a team of 14 Turkish researchers, including medical doctors, botanists, survey and geological engineers, as well as oceanographers from seven Turkish universities, went to Antarctica on a scientific mission to study the impact of climate change.
Antarctica has served as a scientific preserve since the Antarctica Treaty was signed in Washington in 1959, of which Turkey is a party.
The continent is considered as the coldest on earth. The lowest temperature there was recorded in 1983 at minus 89 degrees Celsius. In the summer, the temperature can even reach above zero degrees Celsius along coastal parts of the continent.
The mission of PolRec, which was established in 2015, is to carry out research on the Antarctic and develop Turkey’s visibility in the international scientific community.