Aircraft carrier Bye Paulo (Ex-Foch) was leaving Morocco when the decision was made public: contrary to what was planned in the initial itinerary, Turkey would finally not welcome the building in the port of Izmir. “The ship will not be allowed to enter Turkish Territorial Waters”Announced on Friday August 26, Environment Minister Murad Kurum, in a press release shared on Twitter.
Built in France in the early 1960s, the aircraft carrier Fochtwin brother Clemenceau, served in the French Navy for thirty-seven years before being sold to Brazil in 2000. The aging building required numerous repairs and high maintenance costs: the Brazilian Navy finally decided to leave the ship on August 4, 2017 from Rio de Janeiro. It was due to complete its Atlantic crossing and arrive on 10 September. Acquired by the Turkish company SÖK Denizcilik, it was to be docked at the port of Izmir in the Aliaga region, which specializes in ship dismantling.
A list of hazardous materials is required
But in a letter to Brasilia dated August 9, the Turkish environment ministry asked for a new one. “Presence of Hazardous Materials”. Brazilian officials responded by referring to Ankara’s authorization, which was granted on June 7, citing a late request, following the ship’s launch.
“The cancellation of the Turkish ministry is a direct result of citizen mobilization in recent weeks”Welcoming lawyer Arif Ali Kangi, a joint member of Izmir’s environmental associations and professional chambers who took legal action against the ministry. “Two days ago, the minister said the boat was clean! » He recalled.
If the seven local associations and forty individuals who initiated the complaint consider this decision a first victory, “The fight doesn’t stop here”, assures Arif Ali Khangi. Sending the boat back to Brazil is now a question, but the responsibility is shared with other countries: “France, as a builder, has a responsibility. Holland, with a tug flying the flag of the Netherlands, the aircraft carrier is being towed. Above all, she must not cross the Strait of Gibraltar! »
Renamed “Death Ship”.
Since the beginning of this month, the mobilization of civil society has been trying to warn the French and Turkish authorities about the illegality of the transfer of the military building, renamed for the occasion the “death boat”. A number of specialized international NGOs have drawn particular attention to the danger that dispossession can represent.
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