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Turkey renames US embassy street ‘Malcolm X Avenue'

MALCOLM X AVENUE: The Turkish new street name is a tribute to the civil rights activist

TURKEY HAS renamed the street where the new US embassy is being constructed "Malcolm X Avenue".

It is not the first example in recent times of the country introducing street names with political statements.

In February this year, the street where the current US embassy is located was renamed “Olive Branch” – the name of one Turkey’s military campaigns in Syria.

“We will make his name live on in Ankara,” president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in reference to the new street name in a statement published by Turkish news service Anadolu Agency.

Despite many regarding Malcolm X as a hero for his civil rights activism, he is also seen by others as a controversial, anti-American figure. As such, opinions over Turkey’s move are likely to be split.

In September, Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz met with Turkey’s president and first lady in New York.

Anadolu Agency reported that Shabazz praised the country’s welcome to refugees and its leader, president Erdogan.

"Anytime you have a country that opens its borders to 3.5 million refugees, that speaks for itself," Shabazz told Anadolu Agency.

She added: "I’m always very honoured to be among anyone who – especially such a leader – that speaks to the importance of human dignity, compassion and social justice. I’m always very honoured to be in the presence, in the company of the president and her excellency."

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