Turkish police detained 11 Green peace activists during a demonstration Thursday outside the Spanish embassy here to demand the return to Spain of a cargo of toxic material currently held in southern Turkey, the environmental group said.
During the protest, some activists chained themselves to the gates of the embassy while others hung a banner on the facade of the building, which read, "Spain take back your toxic waste" in Spanish and Turkish.
The protestors refused to leave until an embassy official accepted their letter urging Spain to call back a ship carrying the toxic material from Iskenderun port on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.
The ship, which has been anchored at Iskenderun since February, is laden with tons of fly ash, a very fine ash which Green peace says contains levels of chromium exceeding the legal standards set by Turkey.
The Turkish environment ministry ordered the ship to be kept at Iskenderun until Madrid confirms its return to Spain to avoid the potential dumping of the waste into the Mediterranean Sea, Green peace said.
There has so far been no positive answer from Spain, from where the hazardous cargo originated, it added.
"We urge the Spanish government to carry its responsibility and call for the return of the toxic waste to Spain," Tolga Temuge of Green peace’s Mediterranean office, said.
The protest ended when a Spanish diplomat accepted the letter and said the issue would be given priority, the statement added -- ANKARA (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )