Turkey will establish a scientific base in Antarctica in 2019, Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü has told state-run Anadolu Agency.
“Next year, we will go there to establish our scientific base. The foundations of Turk Scientific Base will be laid,” Özlü said on April 11.
“First, we will build our base, then we will apply for the status of ‘advisory state.’ Advisory states are those that have a say in Antarctica’s today and tomorrow,” he added.
Turkey currently has the status of “observatory state” in Antarctica.
Özlü added that a Turkish team, led by scientist Burcu Özsoy, went to Antarctica for the second time for polar research in February.
“Now, 28 scientists are devotedly working in Antarctica. They will return home this month after finishing their work,” he said.
Antarctica has served as a scientific research zone since a 1959 treaty, of which Turkey is a signatory.
Turkey’s first polar research center, Istanbul Technical University’s Polar Research Center, was founded in Antarctica in 2015.
The mission of the center is to carry out research on Antarctica and raise Turkey’s profile in the international scientific community.