Turkey changes road name for new US embassy to ‘Malcolm X Street’

New US embassy in Turkey will be located in a newly named street Malcolm X, after the famous American black civil rights movement campaigner. (AFP)
Updated 13 October 2018
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Turkey changes road name for new US embassy to ‘Malcolm X Street’

  • The change after Turkish President Erdogan met the daughters of Malcolm X during the UN General Assembly in New York

ANKARA: Turkey on Saturday 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.
According to the construction contractors BL Harbert, the new complex is due to be finished in 2020.
The name change comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who regards himself as a champion of rights for Muslims around the world, met the daughters of Malcolm X on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last month.
The statement by the Ankara municipality noted that Erdogan had promised to the daughters that the name of Malcolm X would “live on” in the Turkish capital.
Turkey has on two occasions in recent months changed the name of embassy streets in Ankara to press home a political point.
In February, the street in Ankara where the current US embassy is located was renamed Olive Branch (Zeytin Dali in Turkish) Street after Turkey’s offensive against a Kurdish militia inside Syria that alarmed Washington.
And a similar step was taken when tensions with the United Arab Emirates flared after Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan retweeted a post on Twitter critical of the former Ottoman rulers of the region.
In response, Ankara renamed the street where the UAE embassy is located after the Ottoman governor of the time.
Malcolm X, who remains a hero for many blacks and Muslims in the United States, was assassinated in 1965 by gunmen with links to the the same radical black pride group that he joined in the 1950s.


Erdogan calls for fight on Islamophobia as on anti-Semitism

Updated 19 min 17 sec ago
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Erdogan calls for fight on Islamophobia as on anti-Semitism

  • The Turkish leader believes the New Zealand attack was part of a wider assault on Islam
  • He demands the West do more against anti-Muslim sentiment

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called for a global fight against rising Islamophobia like “anti-Semitism after the Holocaust” following the deadly attacks on two New Zealand mosques.
The Turkish leader has presented the mosque attacks by a self-avowed white supremacist who killed 50 people as part of a wider assault on Islam and demands the West do more against anti-Muslim sentiment.
“Just as humanity fought against anti-Semitism after the Holocaust disaster, it should fight against rising Islamophobia in the same determined fashion,” Erdogan told a meeting of ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul.
“Right now we are facing Islamophobia and Muslim hatred,” he said.
Erdogan said far-right neo-nazi groups should be treated as terrorists in the same way as Daesh terrorists.
On 15 March, alleged shooter Brenton Tarrant killed 50 men, women and children — the victims aged between three and 77 years old — and left dozens injured in an attack that sparked global revulsion.
He livestreamed much of the attack and spread a manifesto on social media claiming it was a strike against Muslim “invaders.”
New Zealand’s government on Friday reassured Muslims living in the country they would be “safe and secure” despite the deadly attacks in Christchurch.
“Ensuring Muslim communities in New Zealand feel safe and secure is a particular focus,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters told the OIC meeting.
Peters said New Zealand authorities would make sure “no stone stays unturned” in the prosecution of the attacker.
“This person will face ... the New Zealand law and spend the rest of his life in isolation in a New Zealand prison,” he said.


Erdogan, campaigning for local elections this month, has angered New Zealand by repeatedly showing the video made by the alleged gunman, an Australian who was arrested.
He has also angered Australia with comments about anti-Muslim Australians being sent back in “coffins” like their grandfathers at Gallipoli, a WWI battle.
On Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu praised New Zealand authorities and their “sincere solidarity messages.”
“We are here to show we are one body against Islamophobic actions across the world,” he said.
The Muslim call to prayer rang out across New Zealand on Friday followed by two minutes of silence nationwide to mark a week since the attack.
Thousands of people — including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — stood silently in a park opposite the mosque where the killing began.