‘Olive Branch Road’ sign officially hung in front of US Embassy in Ankara
Previously known as “Nevzat Tandoğan Road,” “Olive Branch Road” now pays homage to “Operation Olive Branch,” Turkey’s ongoing military campaign against the U.S.-backed People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s northwestern Afrin district.
U.S. support for the Kurdish militants, which Ankara sees as a terror group for its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has enraged Ankara, exacerbating tensions between the two NATO allies.
The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality made the decision to change the street name on Feb. 12.
“We have signed a proposal to change ‘Nevzat Tandoğan Caddesi’ in front of the U.S. Embassy to ‘Olive Branch.’ Tonight, we will present the presidential proposal to the Ankara Metropolitan Assembly,” Ankara Metropolitan mayor Mustafa Tuna posted on his Twitter account on Feb. 12.
This is not the first time street names have been used in diplomacy or politics in Turkey.
The Ankara mayor renamed the street of the United Arab Emirates in Ankara after Ottoman commander Fahreddin Pasha, the defender of Medina during World War I, following a diplomatic row between the UAE and Turkey, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Jan. 9.
The name of the street and all its signs were changed to “Fahreddin Paşa Sokağı” (Fahreddin Pasha Street) after the first municipal council meeting.