Third Turkish team arrives in Antarctica
Following a five-flight journey, Turkish scientists finally set foot in Antarctica on Monday, the third expedition from Turkey to the world’s coldest continent, reported pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah.
The journey, which took nearly a week, began Jan. 29 in Istanbul, with a flight to the Brazilian capital of Sao Paolo, then another to Santiago, Chile. The team travelled to Puerto Williams, the most southerly settlement in the southern hemisphere, before flying the final two hours to King George Island, in Antarctica, said Daily Sabah.
Backed by Turkey’s government and Istanbul Technical University’s Polar Research Center as well as eight other Turkish universities, the team will carry out scientific studies over 30 days.
Burcu Özsoy, the leader of the 3rd National Antarctic Science Expedition, said they are very motivated and it was an exciting trip for those who set foot on the South Pole for the first time, according to Daily Sabah.
National free diver Şahika Ercümen said she is extremely excited to dive in the South Pole. "It is a great honour to be among all these incredible scientists," she told Daily Sabah.
Two meteorological monitoring stations produced in Turkey will be set up to receive data for two years.
The Turkish team and their 46 pieces of luggage including scientific materials were carefully inspected to make sure they were not carrying any living organism upon landing on the frozen continent, said Daily Sabah.
Turkey's Istanbul Technical University Polar Research Center was founded in Antarctica in 2015. The mission of the centre 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, travelled to Antarctica to study the impact of climate change.
With the third expedition, Turkey looks to become a consultant country in the new term of the Antarctic Treaty System and continue scientific studies at its own base, said Daily Sabah.