Turkish lawmakers have recently proposed renaming the street in Ankara where the US embassy is located, changing its name to Olive Branch Street – a clear reference to the ongoing military operation in Syria’s Afrin against the Kurdish militias backed by the United States.
This measure, however, is hardly an original or unprecedented move as other countries have often resorted to such tactics in the recent and not-so-recent past.
US and Russia
In 2017, US Senator Marco Rubio proposed changing the name of the street in front of the Russian embassy in Washington DC to Boris Nemtsov Plaza, after a former Russian deputy prime minister turned opposition activist who was killed in Moscow in 2015.
A similar move was also employed by the US government during the Cold War, when in 1984 a street near the USSR embassy was named after Soviet era dissident Andrei Sakharov.
In 2018 Russian lawmakers also proposed renaming the street near the US embassy in Moscow into North American Dead End, but the city administration rejected the initiative.
Iran and UK
In 1981, Winston Churchill Street in Tehran, where the British embassy is located, was renamed after Bobby Sands, a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army and British MP who died during a hunger strike while incarcerated at the Maze Prison.
China and US
Since 2014, the US Congress has pondered renaming a street in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington DC after Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.
Beijing however responded in kind, offering to name the street in the Chinese capital where the US embassy is located after Edward Snowden, an NSA whistleblower who exposed the US global covert surveillance program, or after Monika Lewinski, a White House intern involved in a sex scandal with then-US President Bill Clinton in 1990s.
US and India
During the Vietnam War, the US consulate in Kolkata found itself located on Ho Chi Minh Street after the Communist Party of India won the regional elections and renamed the street.