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New US Embassy street to be named after black human rights activist Malcolm X

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) accompanied by his wife Emine Erdoğan (R2) receives Ilyasah and Qabilah, daughters of Malcolm X as he arrives at New York to participate in the 73rd session of UN General Assembly on September 24, 2018 in New York, United States. Cem Oksuz / Anadolu Agency

The street in Ankara where the new US Embassy building is to be located will bear the name of Malcolm X, the metropolitan municipality announced on Saturday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The city council on Friday unanimously approved the name change.

The name of street in the Çukurambar neighborhood of Çankaya will be changed to Malcolm X, an American Muslim minister and human rights activist who is known for advocating the rights of blacks and Muslims in the US and was assassinated in 1965.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has been accused by critics of a lack of diversity, with no black Americans serving in key White House positions, and the president himself has been quoted as making racially insensitive comments targeting people of color and Muslims.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had met the daughters of Malcolm X, Qubilah and Ilyasah Shabazz, during his visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

“He has invited me to Turkey. Mr. Erdoğan said they have planned to give my father’s name to a street in Ankara, and he invited us to the opening ceremony. That will probably happen this year,” said Ilyasah Shabazz after the meeting on Sept. 24.

The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality on Feb. 19 changed the name of the street on which the US Embassy is currently located to “Olive Branch,” the name of a Turkish military operation in northern Syria, in protest of US support for a Kurdish militia group in the country.

The street on which the United Arab Emirates Embassy is located in Ankara was changed in January to reflect Turkey’s Ottoman heritage in the Middle East, including its defense of Muslim holy sites, in the wake of a diplomatic spat between Turkey and the UAE.

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