ANKARA – Authorities in the Turkish capital Ankara have officially changed the street name outside the United States embassy to Olive Branch in a not-so-discreet bid to antagonize Washington officials by referencing the ongoing Turkish military offensive against US-backed Kurdish militias in northern Syria.
Brand new signs for Zeytindali Caddesi (Olive Branch St) were drilled into place by municipal workers on what used to be Nevzat Tandogan Avenue, which runs down the northern parameter of the US embassy compound.
Plans for such a name change had been in place for over a week.
Operation Olive Branch, Turkey’s military incursion against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militias in Syria’s Afrin province, has proved a thorny issue for Ankara-Washington relations.
Although Turkish officials view the YPG as a terror group offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) based in eastern Turkey, the US has traditionally backed the Syrian Kurds in their efforts against the Islamic State terror organization.