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Turkey changes US embassy street name to Malcolm X


An Ankara metropolitan municipality worker hangs the road sign for the ‘Malcolm X Avenue’, named after the human rights activist, where the new US embassy is being built, in Ankara, on November 29, 2018. – Turkey renamed the road where the new US embassy is to be located after the American black Muslim civil rights campaigner Malcolm X, its latest use of a politically-loaded name for the street of a foreign mission. The new embassy building, located in the Cukurambar district on the western outskirts of Ankara, is on what is currently named 1478 Street. But a meeting of the Ankara city council unanimously decided to change the name to Malcolm X Street. (Photo by – / AFP)

Turkey on Thursday changed the name of the street on which the new US embassy will be located after the American black Muslim civil rights campaigner Malcolm X, an AFP correspondent said.

The new American embassy is still being built in Cukurambar district in Ankara on what was formerly called 1478 street. Construction contractors BL Harbert have said the new complex is expected to be finished by 2020.

The renaming comes after the Ankara city council decision last month to change the name to Malcolm X Street.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised the late campaigner’s daughters that the name of Malcolm X would “live on” in the Turkish capital.

Municipality workers changed the signs of the street on Thursday morning, the correspondent said, as frenetic activity continued on the site.

Malcolm X, one of the most influential African Americans in history, was an outspoken Muslim advocate of the rights of blacks and remains a hero today to many blacks and followers of Islam.

Turkey has made similar changes to streets on which embassies are located in a bid to make a political point against a country.

When Washington expressed concern over Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria against a US-backed Kurdish militia, Ankara in February renamed the road Olive Branch (Zeytin Dali in Turkish) on which the current US embassy is located after the name of the offensive.

In January, following a spat with the United Arab Emirates over the Ottoman Empire’s actions in Medina, Ankara renamed the street where the UAE embassy is after the Ottoman governor of the time.

Tempers flared after UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan retweeted a post on Twitter critical of the former Ottoman rulers of the region.

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