A team of Turkish scientists will start their journey to Antarctica tomorrow to set up a national base for scientific research.
The 3rd National Antarctic Science Expedition team of 11 scientists will carry out scientific research in several fields over a 30-day period.
A total of 25 people, including 17 Turkish and eight foreign participants, will take part in the expedition. A team from Anadolu Agency will be among them to cover the scientific research on the ground.
The project is being supported by the Turkish Presidency, Ministry of Industry and Technology, and Istanbul Technical University Polar Research Center as well as eight other Turkish universities.
Sahika Ercumen, an internationally renowned Turkish diver will also travel with the team. She will be the first Turkish woman to dive without air tanks in Antarctica, she announced earlier this month.
Turkish officials suggest the expedition will also pave the way for a permanent Turkish presence on the continent.
Antarctica has been serving as a scientific research zone since a 1959 treaty. Turkey is a signatory of the treaty signed in Washington.
The lowest temperature recorded on the coldest continent in 1983 was at minus 89 degrees Celsius. The temperatures reach up to minus 15 degrees Celsius in the summer. Turkey's first research center in Antarctica, the Istanbul Technical University Polar Research Center was founded in 2015. The mission of the center is to carry out research on Antarctica, raising 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.
The scientists had told Anadolu Agency that the research is important to collect information on climate change and the world's future.