Turkey’s expedition team back home from Antarctica

Turkey’s expedition team back home from Antarctica

Turkey’s expedition team back home from Antarctica

Turkey’s sixth National Antarctic Science Expedition team has arrived in Istanbul after completing a 46-day journey on the frozen continent.

Covering 36,000 kilometers with 20 helicopter operations, 100 hours of boat operations and 18 hours of field study in Antarctica, the 20-person team gathered 400 lichens and 35 kilograms of rock samples belonging to 120 species within the scope of 14 projects.

The team also collected water, sediment and microorganism samples from seas and lakes and cosmic particle research for atmosphere research, among other samples and data.

Hasan Hakan Yavaşoğlu, an academic and team member responsible for scientific studies, said the trip was particularly productive for researchers studying life sciences and astronomy.

“We have 86 academic publications,” he said, noting this was a relatively high figure among countries that have been conducting research on Antarctica.

The academic also emphasized that the existing stations on the island of Dismal, where a Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) station operated by Turkey is located, were maintained and updated during the expedition.

Özgün Oktar, who was in charge of the expedition team’s logistics, stated a cargo weighing about two tons, scientific research equipment and other logistics materials were taken to the continent.

“This year, many of our products, from our clothes to our radios and from our positioning systems to our emergency kits, were used with locally-made equipment,” Oktar said, thanking Aselsan, Havelsan, Türksat and TÜBİTAK SAGE for their support.

Turkey has been conducting scientific research on Antarctica since April 2016.