The country of Turkey is unexpectedly running in tandem with many majority black communities in the U.S. by naming a street after our gone-too-soon shining black prince, Malcolm X.
On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin made the announcement that the street leading to the U.S. embassy in Turkey will be named “Malcolm X Road,” echoing U.S. streets like Lenox Avenue in Harlem, N.Y., which is also known as “Malcolm X Boulevard.”
The Ankara municipal assembly decided by a unanimous vote to rename the street after an order from Erdogan, Haberturk TV reported. The Turkish president met with Malcolm X’s daughters in New York during a United Nations assembly meeting, it said, calling Malcolm X a symbol of “the struggle against racism.” He was assassinated in 1965.
Turkey has in the past used the naming of streets housing diplomatic missions to make political statements, says Bloomberg.
The current U.S. embassy road was renamed “Olive Branch Road” in February in reference to a Turkish military operation in Syria against the U.S.-aligned group, Kurdish YPG, which Turkey views as a terrorist organization.
And after President Donald Trump initially proposed what has been termed a “Muslim ban,” Erdogan demanded that the U.S. president’s name be removed from signs around Trump Towers in Istanbul.
Last month the assembly voted to remove Trump’s name from the metro underpass leading to the Trump complex.