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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly said of Malcom X: ‘We will make his name live on in Ankara.’ Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Note: In the mid-1980s, I directed Coretta Scott King’s ‘Non-Violent Program’ at the King Center in Atlanta. During this time I was fortunate to meet so many remarkable women including Malcolm X’s wife, Dr. Betty Shabazz. To this day I recall her remarkable and engaging spirit.

Coretta Scott King and Dr-Betty Shabazz“Both Coretta and Betty did much to deserve admiration and praise for their perseverance. The hardships they had to endure were trying, and it was never easy being married to men who were under constant pressure and whose lives were under threat. The problems and trials they had to overcome testify to great strength of mind. They did not know many moments of rest during their marriages and as widows. They raised their children by themselves, worked in- and outside the home, educated themselves, kept alive the legacies of their husbands, and fought for social justice and many other good causes. It is safe to say that Coretta and Betty did everything in their power to preserve the legacies of their husbands, and to provide for themselves and their children. It is now up to them who care for the legacies of Betty and Coretta to make sure that they are preserved, too.”

Reference is made below about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meeting the Malcolm X children in New York which led him to name the street in Turkey “Malcom X Avenue.”. Indeed, the important legacy continues.

Move coincides with a period of fraught relations between Turkey and the US and comes after other politically charged name changes to streets in Ankara.

The Guardian — 

City authorities in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, have renamed the street where the new US embassy is being built “Malcolm X Avenue”, after the civil rights leader, state media reported.

The move coincides with a period of fraught relations between Turkey and the US and comes after other politically charged name changes to streets in Ankara.

In February, the city renamed the street outside the current US embassy “Olive Branch”, which is what Turkey called one of its military campaigns in Syria. Ankara is at odds with Washington over its backing of forces led by the Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey views as a terrorist group.

Malcolm X remains a divisive figure in US history and Ankara’s move will likely be received negatively by critics who say he stirred racist and anti-American sentiment.

“The street was given the name of US Muslim politician and human rights defender Malcolm X, about whom President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, ‘We will make his name live on in Ankara,’” Ankara’s municipality said in a statement published by Anadolu news agency on Saturday.

Last month, Erdoğan met Malcolm X’s daughters during a visit to New York. Erdoğan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin shared the story about the name change on his Twitter account on Sunday.

A major row between Washington and Ankara appeared to have ended on Friday when American pastor Andrew Brunson was released on after two years in Turkish custody, a move which Donald Trump said was a “tremendous step” toward improved relations.

Construction of the new US embassy in Ankara is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Last December, the mayor of Ankara ordered the street of the United Arab Emirates mission to be renamed after the Ottoman former governor of Medina, following a row between the two countries about the state of the holy city under Ottoman rule.


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.