The First Turkish Antarctic Expedition was completed with great success.
TUDAV has signed a special agreement with the National Antarctic Scientific Center of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (NASC) to facilitate Turkish scientists conducting researches at the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station in Antarctica. We strongly support the protection of the white continent as a pristine ecosystem of the world. We believe that Antarctica deserves protection in terms of biodiversity, cultural heritage and wilderness. To preserve the unique Antarctic ecosystem, regional and international cooperation is essential and concerted actions are necessary.
At the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting XXXVIII held in Sofia, Bulgaria (June, 2015), the authorized representatives of Ukraine and Turkey conducted effective negotiations on cooperation and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Antarctic Scientific Center of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (NASC) and its Turkish counterpart, the Istanbul Technical University Polar Research Center (PolReC), and Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV). The purpose of this MoU is to establish a framework of cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit in the field of polar research, including joint scientific research, consulting services, technology assessment, exchange of information as well as education and training.
The first endeavor took place from 2 to 14 April 2016. During this period, the Ukrainian Antarctic Vernadsky Station hosted 13 Turkish scientists from various Turkish universities. During the expedition, sea ice and marine mammals were studied/observed and ornithological observations have been made. Moreover, phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish eggs and larvae were collected around Galindez Island in the vicinity of Vernadsky Station. Notothenioid fish were also collected. Additionally, water and sediment samples were taken for detailed analysis. An alien species databank is planned for future studies. Various lichen samples were collected by a lichenologist on Galindez Island. A geological survey was also conducted via collecting surface samples from erratic blocks for a better understanding of the glaciological history of the island. Besides, two medical doctors investigated the changes in human brain waves and heart rate variability of the researchers.
Before the start of the expedition, the Ukrainian party gave permission for scientific sampling, in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Protocol of the Antarctic Treaty. Thus, the Ukrainian-Turkish expedition has been an important experience as a joint expedition, which facilitated not just an exchange of individual scientists but also the participation of a full team of scientists from various institutions. As a result of this successful expedition, it was decided to maintain and strengthen such cooperation at Vernadsky Station in the coming years, including the possibility of year-round expeditions with an international team of scientists.
We are proud to declare that TUDAV initiated the First Turkish Antarctic Expedition and completed it with great success. We continue to encourage Turkish scientists to work in the white continent for the coming years as well as to increase public awareness on the importance of this continent.
Vernadsky Research Base
Antarctic Minke Whale
Southern Giant Petrel
Long-finned Pilot Whale