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Svalbard-Spitzbergen Islands

Svalbard is also formerly known by its Dutch name Spitzbergen, is a Norwegian group islands in the Arctic Ocean. The total area is 62,160 sq km,which is only slightly smaller than West Virginia in USA.Spitzbergen is not equal response of Svalbard because Spitzbergen is the biggest island in Svalbard group islands.

The group of islands is not part of any Norwegian country, but rather forms an unincorporated area administered by a state-appointed governor. Other settlements include the Russian mining community, the research station of Ny-Alesund, and the mining outpost of Sveagruva. Svalbard is the northern most places in the world with a permanent population.

Coal mining started at the beginning of the 20th century in Svalbard. They also established Svalbard as a free economic zone and a demilitarized zone. Research and tourism have become important economic industries with the university.

Scandinavians may have discovered Svalbard as early as the 12th century. The group of island may in that period have been used for fishing and hunting. Because of the lawless nature of the area English, Danish, Dutch and French companies and authorities tried to use force to keep out other countries’ fleets.

As Great Britain during the 18th century became the undisputed leading seapower, the Royal Navy became interested also in the Arctic waters.The 19th century experienced a significant number of scientific expeditions to Svalbard, mainly with the purpose of studying the Geography of the archipelago and other adjoining Arctic regions by German and British nation.

By the 1890s, Svalbard had become a destination for Arctic tourism, coal deposits had been found and the islands were being used as a base for Arctic exploration The first mining was along by Norwegians in 1899. Norwegian interests during the war, in part by buying American interests. From the 1920s, Norway renamed the archipelago Svalbard, and the main island became Spitsbergen. On 9 February 1920, following the Paris Peace Conference, the Svalbard Treaty was signed, granting full sovereignty to Norway.

The German Operation Zitronella took this garrison by force in 1943, and at the same time destroying the settlements at Svalbard Islands. German operation during the Second World War to establish meteorological stations on Svalbard. On September 4, 1945 the soldiers were picked up by a Norwegian seal hunting vessel and surrendered to its captain. This group of men was the last German troops to surrender after the Second World War. After the war, the Soviet Union proposed common Norwegian and Soviet administration and military defense of Svalbard.

Svalbard had an estimated population of 2,642. Svalbard is among the safest places on Earth, with virtually no crime.

The three main industries on Svalbard are coal mining, tourism, and research. In 2011, a 20-year plan to develop offshore oil and gas resources around Svalbard was announced. Research on Svalbard centers the most accessible areas in the high Arctic. The treaty grants permission for any nation to conduct research on Svalbard, resulting in the Polish Polar Station and the Chinese Arctic Yellow River Station, plus Russian facilities in Barentsburg.


Akdeniz University


UNIS – University Centre in Svalbard – Universitetssenteret på Svalbard

A Geographical-HistoricalOutline of Svalbard by Ole Humlum
A HistoryAndFunctioning Of TheSpitsbergenTreatyby Dr. Lotta Lumminen
Access Time for All: 29.09.2014 (17:41) -30.09.2014 (18:59)



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