Black Enterprise reports on a surprising honour for one of America’s great black heroes, with Turkey deciding to rename the street a new U.S. embassy is being built on for Malcolm X. According to state-run media agency Anadolu, the decision was a unanimous one. Some believe that the message may not be as noble as it appears on the surface though.
Part of this is due to the reason that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a history of using names of streets in order to make political statements instead of honoring people. Black Enterprise cites some history that Bloomberg cobbled together on the subject:
“Following a tweet by the United Arab Emirates foreign minister that appeared to criticize an Ottoman Turkish military commander, Fahreddin Pasa, Turkey renamed the UAE embassy’s street after him. And the current U.S. embassy’s street was changed to “Olive Branch Road” in February, a reference to the Turkish military operation in Syria against the Kurdish YPG, a group allied with the U.S. but which Turkey views as a terrorist organization.
In response to Donald Trump’s comments when he proposed a Muslim immigration ban in his campaign for the presidency, Erdogan also demanded that the now-President’s name be removed from signs around Trump Towers in Istanbul. His name remains on view, but last month the Istanbul municipal assembly voted to remove it from the metro underpass leading to the Trump complex.”
Notably, Erdogan met with Malcolm X’s daughters in New York during a United Nations assembly meeting, calling Malcolm X a symbol of “the struggle against racism.” Following the meeting, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, said the Turkish leader “represents” the legacy of her father. “It was my great honor to meet with such a leader, especially in the name of human dignity, compassion, and social justice,” she said, reports the Daily Sabah.
Some people may be skeptical over the statement, given ongoing controversy about Erdogan and his regime over the past few years, in particular with regard to censorship and his attitudes towards the media.