Toxic aircraft ship Nae São Paulo arrives in Turkey soon

Statement by HDP Foreign Affairs Spokespersons Feleknas Uca and Hişyar Özsoy:

Despite the protests from environmental organizations and an interlocutory injunction by the Brazilian Supreme Court, the nuclear aircraft carrier “Nae São Paulo” with a high asbestos content departed from Brazil on 5 August 2022 to be dismantled in Turkey’s Aliağa in İzmir. The ship will arrive in Izmir at the end of September.

Nae Sao Paulo was used by France between 1963 and 2000 and then was sold to Brazil. Last year, the Brazilian navy decided to scrap the vessel, and it was sold to a Turkish shipbreaking company. The ship contains large amounts of hazardous substances such as asbestos, PCBs, and toxic paints within its structure and thus subject to special trade controls. The Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization has ignored the criticisms of environmental organizations and NGOs, and gave clearance for dismantling of the ship on May 30.

As stated by environmental organizations, the movement of Nae São Paulo from Brazil to Turkey is illegal, as it violates the 1996 Izmir Protocol (Protocol on the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal) of the Barcelona Convention, which does not allow hazardous wastes to enter the Mediterranean Sea unless they are to be destined to an EU country for recycling or disposal. The export of the ship also violates the Basel Convention, as Brazil did not recognize the Izmir Protocol that imposes a ban on Turkey, and did not receive the consent of the potential transit states of Spain, Morocco, and the UK.

The harmful substances, especially radioactivity and asbestos, which can be released by dismantling the vessel, can cause irreversible damage to both human health and the environment. Various environmentalist groups and scientists have repeatedly asked the Brazilian and Turkish governments to stop the illegal movement of Nae São Paulo. Their calls have unfortunately fallen on deaf ears.

We hereby call upon all institutions, organizations, parties, politicians and individuals for a healthy and safe environment to take immediate action by mobilizing their capacities, networks and resources towards stopping Nae São Paulo, thus preventing another disaster from happening.