Turkey's first domestic research ship "TUBİTAK Marmara" put to sea
TUBITAK Marmara, Turkey's first domestically manufactured research ship, was put to sea yesterday at the Tuzla Shipyard in Istanbul. The research ship, which cost TL 13.8 million with a width of 9.5 meters and height of 41.2 meters will be in service with 11 scientists and 12 crew members. The ship will begin to be operated by the end of May. It will be mainly used for cleaning the waters and for observing the ecological living areas in the water. Once it becomes fully equipped, it will also be used for oil and gas exploration and for seismic exploration. Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergun, Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz, Istanbul Mayor Huseyin Avni Mutlu and Chairman of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) Prof. Yucel Altunbasak were in attendance at the ceremony. During his speech, Ergun said Turkey was surrounded by water, but that the country has so far been unable to use this unique advantage to improve maritime research. "If we are to achieve our goals for the year 2023, there are important things that we have to do. Turkey is rediscovering the marine affairs. Since research ships and human resources were inadequate, Turkey hasn't benefited from its marine opportunities. You can be a global power with information and research. With this research ship, which was built for TUBITAK Maritime Research Center, information will be gathered and new data will be created. Turkey has proved that it is also capable of building research ships, along with freight ships," Ergun said. Also in his remarks, Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz reasserted the Turkish government's goal of being a country that focuses on research investment even though it won't bring political benefits. "Ten years ago, research infrastructure investments amounted to only TL 114 million within investment programs, but in 2013, we've allocated TL1.9 billion liras which is 17 times more," Yilmaz said.