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Turkey renames the street on which the US embassy will sit after Malcolm X

It follows a tradition in the Muslim world of pointed diplomatic street naming.

Malcolm X, also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.
Malcolm X, also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.
Image: Wikimedia

TURKEY HAS CHANGED the name of the street on which the new US embassy will be located to Malcolm X Street, after the American black Muslim civil rights campaigner.

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 this morning, and AFP 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.

US Embassy Street Renamed Malcolm X Avenue - Ankara Municipal workers changing the street name in Ankara today. Source: Depo Photos/PA Images

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.

Outside of Turkey, Iran most notably renamed the street on which the British embassy sits in Tehran to Bobby Sands Street, after the Provisional IRA hunger striker.

© – AFP 2018

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