ANKARA (Reuters) – The mayor of the Turkish capital of Ankara said on Monday he had approved re-naming a street outside the U.S. Embassy as “Olive Branch”, the name Turkey uses for its ongoing military campaign in Syria.
Ankara has been infuriated by Washington’s alliance in Syria with forces led by the Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey is targeting in its offensive.
President Tayyip Erdogan has promised to sweep the militia from Turkey’s southern border, a move that could put Turkish troops in confrontation with U.S. forces on the ground in Syria.
“We have signed the necessary proposal to change the name of the Nevzat Tandogan Avenue in front of the U.S. Embassy to ‘Olive Branch’. May it go well, may the souls of our saintly martyrs rejoice,” Ankara Mayor Mustafa Tuna tweeted.
The proposal will be presented to the municipal parliament later on Monday, he said. It will most likely be approved, just days before U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to visit Ankara on Thursday.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the Ankara mayor’s office were not immediately available for comment.
According to a poll published on Monday by the Center for American Progress, 83 percent of Turks view the United States unfavorably, and 46 percent think their country should do more to confront it.
Tuna had ordered the re-naming of the street where the United Arab Emirates mission is located to that of the Ottoman former governor of Medina, following a row between the two countries about the state of the holy city under Ottoman rule.
Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen