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Turkey changes name of US embassy street to Malcolm X

November 30, 2018

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Ankara: A municipality worker hangs the road sign for “Malcolm X Avenue”, where the new US embassy is being built.—AFP
Ankara: A municipality worker hangs the road sign for “Malcolm X Avenue”, where the new US embassy is being built.—AFP

ANKARA: 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, a 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.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2018

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