Ankara, Feb 19 (IANS) Authorities in the Turkish capital have officially changed the street name outside the US embassy to “Olive Branch” in a not-so-discreet bid to antagonize American officials by referencing the ongoing Turkish military offensive against US-backed Kurdish militias in northern Syria.
Brand new signs for Zeytindali Caddesi (Olive Branch Street) 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, Efe news reported.
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 organisation.