The Polar Expedition Has Started!
Mar 30, 2016


Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Polar Research Center (PolReC), along with Central Advisory Board, has set off to Antarctica on March 29 with a 14-person-research team from Turkey.

Before this organization aiming to make very significant scientific contributions in White Continent, research team came together in the program held in Süleyman Demirel Cultural Center at ITU Ayazağa Campus on March 28, 2016.

The research team, composed of 14 people from Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul University, Erciyes University, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Marmara University, Kocaeli University, Çukurova University, and Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), was given trainings and certificates before the journey. At the end of the program, the equipment to be worn in rough weather conditions of the continent was given to the team.

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Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca: “We aim to establish a scientific base.”

Before the journey, the research team appeared before the members of the press and answered their questions. Talking in the press conference, our rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca stated that Turkish universities go to Antarctica for the first time under the leadership of ITU. Karaca, telling that their aim in 2-week-long-studies is to observe the change of climate and marine species living in Antarctica, expressed that their ultimate goal is to establish a scientific base in Antarctica. After his speech, Karaca gave the Turkish Flag to Prof. Dr. Bayram Öztürk, expedition leader and an instructor in Istanbul University, and to Assoc. Dr. Burcu Özsoy Çiçek, Head of PolReC and expedition assistant leader.

This scientific expedition to Antarctica, with academicians from 7 universities and TUBITAK, will be the first for Turkey. These scientists will do research in 50-mile-area of Antarctica continent where they will wave Turkish Flag. The team comprised of medical doctors, botanists, map and geology engineers, and experts of marine sciences will do scientific surveys for 2 weeks.

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Two Female Academicians Are On the Team

Two female academicians are on the team to do research on the subjects of climate change, glaciers, alien species, pollution, marine biodiversity, protected areas, marine mammals and botany.

Based on the agreement signed last year between Ukraine National Antarctic Science Center and ITU Polar Research Application and Research Center (PolReC) and Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), the first steps of a long-term cooperation in white continent will start with the expedition. This, at the same time, will be the first joint expedition of Turkish universities to the continent.

Assoc. Dr. Burcu Özsoy Çiçek, Head of PolReC and expedition assistant leader, drew attention to the importance of this expedition and PolReC by her speech:
“Studies related to the continent have been carried out by Turkish scientists for long years. However, this inter-university research will be the first joint national study in Turkey. Although we have a strong scientific background, this is the first time universities came officially together thanks to PolReC. I believe that this union of power will have important contributions to our country within the next years. Also, Turkey will increase its visibility in international platforms with this first interdisciplinary scientific expedition. In 2006, I experienced the pride of waving Turkish Flag in the continent, but the pride of being there with a national scientific expedition will be invaluable.”

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ITU Polar Research Application and Research Center (PolReC)


Turkish scientists, carrying out studies on polar research with scientific organizations abroad, have had a scientific umbrella organization with the establishment of ITU Polar Research Application and Research Center (PolReC) in 2015. Many Turkish academicians from Turkey or abroad give support to this project. This center is also an application place for the academicians who would like to do research on polar and a platform to discuss the science programs.