Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has revealed that his country plans to create a scientific base in Antarctica next year.
“By the year 2019 we will create a scientific basis on which Turkey will enter the list of 30 countries that have polar scientific stations in Antarctica,” the Turkish leader said on Twitter .
In April this year, Turkey’s Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Faruk Ozlu spoke for the first time about the creation of the base in question. The project, according to the politician, will be carried out under the control of the Ministry of Interior of Turkey, as well as the Technical University of Istanbul.
At that time, the minister also mentioned the director of the Polar Investigation Center of the Technical University of Istanbul, Burcu Ozsoy, as the possible head of the Antarctic expedition.
The same scientist pointed out in April that “Ankara operations are carried out not only in the Syrian city of Afrin but also in Antarctica.”
Turkey is one of the countries participating in the Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959 in Washington. According to the document, only scientific activities can be carried out in Antarctica.
At present, the treaty comprises more than 50 countries, including Russia, United States, Switzerland, Ukraine, Japan, China, Germany, United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Australia among others. About 90 polar stations, both permanent and temporary, operate in the continent of more than 20 countries.
It has not been revealed by Erdogan why there is a necessity for Turkey to open a base in Antarctica considering it is neither located to the ice continent, nor does Turkey have a tundra environment. Although Erdogan is pushing for Turkey to become a strong Middle Power, especially in the Middle East, it is not known yet what role the Antarctic base will play to achieve this goal. Turkey does not have a base in the Arctic.