Polar Research Meeting Organized at ITU
Jul 29, 2017

At the meeting on Antarctic scientific studies hosted by the Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology and ITU, the importance of scientific cooperation between Turkey and Chile was emphasized.

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The Turkey-Chile Polar Research Collaboration Meeting was held at the ITU Ayazağa Campus where the scientific studies related to Antarctica conducted with support from the Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, under the auspices of our Presidency were discussed. A large number of invited guests attended the meeting including Ambassador of the Republic of Chile, Jose Manuel Silva, Honorary Consul of Chile in Istanbul, Batu Aksoy, our Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca,
Vice-Rectors, Prof. Dr. Telem Gök Sadıkoğlu and Prof. Dr. Alper Ünal. At the meeting of 27 different university participants, Turkey's Antarctic vision and Chile's National Antarctic Science program were discussed.

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We will help Turkey with all matters

The Ambassador of the Republic of Chile, Jose Manuel Silva, emphasized that Chile has a lot of scientific and logistical experience in Antarctica. Silva said “Science is a vast world. You need to focus on one point to be successful. We have been conducting research in Antarctica for over 40 years. We have research bases established there. We want to open our own centers to the Turks. In terms of logistics, we want to provide support on where to go and how to get there.”

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"Antarctica is a science and research base"

Our Rector, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca, in his speech, said:

"Antarctica is a science and research base. When one mentions the poles, one shouldn’t think of them as remote points. Especially when we consider climate change, the poles function as refrigerators. In other words, they prevent the system from overheating. Poles are elements that balance out the world’s heating and increase in temperature. In this respect, it is very important to follow the melting glaciers on-site, in the Polar regions."
Emphasizing that the ozone layer was first found in Antarctica, our Rector, Prof. Dr. Karaca said that Antarctica is a pristine area for scientific studies and that it is very easy to make observations in the region. Dr. Karaca stated “The goal of this meeting is to discuss what kind of collaboration we do with the Chileans, and how we can organize this. The Chileans have a lot of experience, they have bases in the region. They deploy 300-400 people at a time, including their own army. Half of these are academics and the other half are logistics workers. Chileans can provide us with logistical support as well as information. Because it's a country right next to Antarctica. We would like their help drawing a road map, based on their experience.”

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Our Rector, Prof. Dr. Karaca, continued with:

"Turkey's objectives are not small, and, as ITU, we will continue to provide scientific support. The base planned to be established in Antarctica is also among Turkey's 2023 targets. To have a say in the world, you have to think globally and act globally. You have to think big in science, economics and technology. This base is the complementary element."

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"We want to send a second national expedition to Antarctica"

Prof. Dr. Burcu Özsoy, ITU Center for Polar Research, stated that her aim was to enable Turkish scientists to do scientific work in Antarctica. Özsoy added that they wanted to expand the framework and conduct a second national expedition to Antarctica, adding sciences such as meteorology, geology, and glaciology. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özsoy continued her words as follows:

"Chile is one of the first countries to set up a base in Antarctica. Chile established the first station in 1947. The experience of the Chileans will be a guiding light for us. Chile's geographical proximity to the region is also very important. The positive and negative experiences they have experienced will be very beneficial to us. Many scientists from Turkey's physical sciences, earth sciences and biological sciences want to work in the region."