Turkish team arrives in Antarctica for polar research
A Turkish expedition team, departed for Antarctica to set up a temporary scientific research base, arrived in the coldest continent on Monday.
The journey, which took nearly a week with five flights, started on Oct. 29 in Istanbul, Turkey.
ANTARCTIC TREATY SYSTEM
The first destination of the team was Sao Paulo, the capital of Brazil. The group later travelled to the Chilean capital Santiago. Following a 30-hour journey in total, the team arrived in the far southern Chilean town, Puerto Williams. After a two-day accommodation in the “last settlement point” on the southern hemisphere, they reached the King George Island in Antarctica with two-hours flight.
This year’s project -- supported by the Turkish Presidency, Ministry of Industry and Technology, and Istanbul Technical University Polar Research Center as well as eight other Turkish universities -- will carry out scientific studies over 30 days.
Two automatic meteorological monitoring stations produced in Turkey will also be set up by the country’s directorate general of meteorology to receive data for two years.
The Turkish team and their 46 luggage including scientific materials weighing nearly 1,500 kilograms (1307 pounds) were carefully inspected for not carrying any living organism under Antarctic Treaty System upon landing on the frozen continent.
Antarctica, the coldest continent on earth, has served as a scientific research zone since a 1959 treaty. Turkey, which currently holds an observer status, desires to have consultative status on the continent. The lowest temperature recorded on the coldest continent in 1983 was at -89 degrees Celsius (-128 Fahrenheit). The temperatures reach up to -15 degrees Celsius (5 Fahrenheit) in the summer.
The mission of the center is to carry out research on Antarctica and raise Turkey's profile in the international scientific community.
In April 2016, the first-ever Turkish team of researchers -- 14 medics, botanists, geologists and oceanographers from seven universities -- traveled to Antarctica to study the impact of climate change.
Turkey holds an observer status and it desires to have consultative status on the continent during the 3rd National Antarctic Science Expedition.