Turkish researchers arrive at Horseshoe Island in Antarctic

20-strong team of Turkiye’s 6th National Antarctic Science Expedition reached island following 21-day journey, including 1-week sailing from Chile.

Turkish researchers arrive at Horseshoe Island in Antarctic

A Turkish research team has arrived on the Horseshoe Island, where a temporary Turkish Science Base is located on the world’s coldest continent Antarctica.

The 20-strong team of Turkiye’s 6th National Antarctic Science Expedition reached the island following a 21-day long journey, including a week-long sailing from Chile, as they left Istanbul late last month to conduct scientific research.

The team carrying over 2 tons of logistics materials has already begun their fieldwork.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Hasan Hakan Yavasoglu, the assistant expedition leader, said the team was “ready and motivated to do research.”

“Our team is currently completing research in the field. As of today, we will launch our scientific studies,” Yavasoglu said. “This year, 14 scientific projects will be carried out during the execution of our expedition.”

Studies on life sciences, earth sciences, and physical sciences will be conducted during the expedition, he added.

As part of a cooperation between Bulgaria’s Antarctic Institute and Turkiye’s TUBITAK MAM (Scientific and Technological Research Council Marmara Research Center) Institute of Arctic Research, Oleg Vassiliev, who served as the station leader of St. Kliment Ohridski, joined the Turkish team by coming to Turkish scientists vessel by a boat from the island they were based.

Among the 20-member team is Capt. Ilyas Akpinar of Turkiye’s Geodesy Department of the General Directorate of Mapping.

“The fact that our station is located on Dismal Island … is important for the detection of the movement of the Antarctic plate,” Akpinar said. “It will also enable us to contribute to the Antarctic earth sciences literature.”

Akpinar also said that during Turkiye’s 3rd expedition in 2019, geodynamic points were established on both Dismal Island and Horseshoe Island and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) observations were carried out at these points for four to 12 hours.

Turkiye has three fixed GNSS stations in this region, on the Antarctic continent, he said, adding that one of them is located on Dismal Island while the other two are on Horseshoe Island.

The team is made up of researchers from Turkiye’s TUBITAK, Naval Forces Command, Mapping Directorate, Meteorology Directorate, Anadolu Agency, research institutes, and universities.