Significance of Oceanographic and Polar Researches and Turkey


World population is increasing 100% in every45-year and therefore needs of humans for live and dead resources are ever-increasing in multiple fashions. Especially after the second half of the 20th century, oceanographic and polar studies speeded up together with the improved sea research technologies and human beings noticed that they could meet live and dead resource needs from oceans and poles. Current researches are ongoingwith highly modern research vessels over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and with research stations established at poles.

What kind of sources are there in Oceans and Poles?

*Fisheries are particularly developed in oceans. Developed countries are able to provide significant supports from oceans through factory enterprises of fishery fleets.  Fishery ships bring the caught fish into the ship, process the ship and serve to market all inside the ship.

*Another significant resource is ore beds.Rich magnesium deposits were discovered especially at the separation zones of the Atlantic Ocean. Those ores are located around 4 000 meter deep in the Ocean and works was initiated in 1970s to extract the mine and works are still on-going.

*The Pacific and Atlantic are the oceans over which the climates are best estimated. Especially together with El Nino cases, amount of precipitation and number of storm cases and severities of around a year may be estimated. Those estimations are used to estimate the amount of precipitations of the regions of the USA and agricultural production patterns are designed accordingly.

*With the stations established in poles, climatic changes are evaluated in detail from the past to present. Such evaluations are highly beneficial for the future climate projections.Vostok polar station established by Russia in 1957 is the most significant location for climate studies.

*Existence of oil and natural gas resources in poles has been known for a long time.Together with the melting of glaciers, it was proposed by the researchers that 30% of undiscovered natural gas resources and 15% of undiscovered oil resources were located within those melting sites. In this way, conflicts of the past have come to light again. Particularly the USA and the other countries like Norway, Denmark, Russia and Canada have put a claim for those resources. However, recently, Canada and Russia are in a strong conflict for the lion’s share of these resources and both sides have started to empower their military forces over the relevant regions.


Aweareness of Turkey about the significance of Sea Researches

Turkey noticed the significance of having a research vessel in 1970s with the continental shelves experienced with Greece and hastwo multi-purpose research vessels built at the end of 1970s. One of them is “R/VKocaPiri Reis” research vessel of Dokuz EylülUniversity and the other one is “R/VBilim” research vessel of METU (Middle East Technical University). Apart from these two research vessels, Turkey had several small or large research and survey vessels built or rented.


Interest of Turkey in Oceans and poles and need for research vessel


Interests of Turkey in surrounding seas were oriented toward Oceans in 1980s because of far most opinions of the executives of the period and works were initiated in these issues. For instance, in 1980, four researchers, including me, were sent to 3-months training program in Malta about resources in oceans and their legal status. Following this event, a commission was established with the leadership of TUBITAK(Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council) at the end of 1980s to claim a right over Oceans and poles.The main task of the commission was to have two “ocean going” research vessels built to carry out research in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and poles. The relevant vessels were supposed to be under the administration of TUBİTAK and be open for the Turkish researchers with researches over oceans. However, along with the subsequent administrative changes, all these works were put aside and the most significant sea-relevant Project of Turkey was terminated.


*It is clear that Turkey was left far behind in benefitting from the oceans and poles since Turkey was noticed the significance of such issues late in 1980s and again were late in stepping forward.

*Particularly fishing fleets should be established to open to oceans. Supports should be provided to fishers to let them to work over the oceans rather than local seas.

*Two “ocean going” research vessels should have definitely be built under the administration of TUBİTAK and those vessels should all the time survey over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans about the live and dead resources. While surveying over live and dead resources, the main task of these vessels should also be long-term climate estimations and providing the relevant data to farmers to allow them to determine their cropping patterns.

*In brief, Turkey urgently should open out to oceans to benefit from relevant resources.

The seas we can’t go are not ours.

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