Turkey renames US Embassy street after Syria offensive
Feb. 19, 2018
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities on Monday renamed a street where the U.S. Embassy is located with the name of Turkey's military offensive in Syria that had led to tensions between the allies.
Ankara municipal workers put up the new sign in Turkish for Olive Branch Street, replacing the one named after late Ankara governor Nevzat Tandogan.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch last month to drive a Syrian Kurdish militia out of northwest Syria. The militia group is a major U.S. ally in fighting the Islamic State group. Turkey regards them as terrorists.
When asked last week about the upcoming name change, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that "they can call it whatever they want. As long as it's in accordance with their own law, we're fine with that."
In November, Turkey renamed the street where the United Arab Emirates has its embassy after a long-dead Ottoman military commander. It was a reaction to an Emirati minister's retweet of a claim that the Turkish president's "forefathers" pillaged the holy city of Medina.