Turkey will rename a street that the upcoming United States embassy will be built in the nation after the controversial civil rights leader and human rights activist, Malcolm X. The street will be called “Malcolm X Avenue” for reasons only known to Turkish officials, and it is thought it could be a jab at the policies of President Donald Trump and his administration.
Authorities in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, announced Saturday that the city assembly accepted the name change unanimously, according to state-run media agency Anadolu.
But the new street signs will likely be seen by American diplomats as a symbolic and controversial move. Malcolm X is a contentious figure in US history; some view the black Muslim civil rights leader as an activist while others see him as a divisive figure who stoked racial tension, violence and anti-American sentiments.
This is not the first politically charged name change in Ankara. In February, Turkey renamed the road leading to the current US Embassy as Olive Branch Street. The name sounds peaceful on the surface but is actually a reference to Turkey’s military operation in Syria, which the United States opposes.
Construction for the new American embassy, which rests three miles from the current location, will be completed in 2020 according to the U.S. State Department.