Olive Branch Street - Turkey renames U.S. Embassy road
Turkish authorities renamed the street where the U.S. Embassy is located in Ankara with the name of Turkey's military operation in Syria's Afrin. Ankara municipal workers put up a new sign, the Turkish name for Olive Branch (Zeytindalı), replacing the old one named after the celebrated mayor and governor of Ankara who served between 1929 and 1946, Nevzat Tandoğan.
Turkey launched a military operation last month, oddly nicknamed Operation Olive branch, to drive a Syrian Kurdish militia, YPG, out of northwest Syria. Turkey regards YPG and its political wing PYD as a terrorist organisation whereas the militia group is a significant ally of the U.S. in its fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
Ankara has been criticising Washington’s alliance in Syria, causing an international scuffle between countries. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his speeches promised to sweep the Kurdish militia from Turkey’s southern border, a move that could cause a potentially dangerous confrontation between the U.S. forces and Turkish troops.
The U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "they can call it whatever they want. As long as it's by their law, we're fine with that," about the renaming of the street in front of the Embassy.
This name change is not the first time Turkey changed a street name as an international policy action.
In November, the street of the United Arab Emirates Embassy was renamed after an Ottoman commander Fahreddin Pasha as a reaction to an Emirati minister's retweet of a claim that the Turkish president's "forefathers" pillaged the holy city of Medina.