Main avenue in Syria’s Afrin city named after Erdoğan

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Syrian men drive past armed men stand guarding the city's entrance in Afrin, on May 5, 2018. AFP PHOTO / Nazeer AL-KHATIB

One of the main avenues in the Syrian city of Afrin has been named after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to the report, the local council renamed some of main streets in Afrin, which was taken over by the Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters in March from the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

A street named after Demirci (The Blacksmith) Kawa, a legendary Kurdish hero, was changed to Olive Branch, the name of the operation launched by Turkish and FSA fighters on Jan. 20, 2017 in the Afrin region of Syria. Similarly, a street honoring Newroz, the Kurdish spring festival, was changed to Selahaddin Eyyübi, a Kurdish ruler who took control of Jerusalem from the Crusaders in the 12th century. The council also changed the name of Government Building Avenue to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Avenue.

Turkey sees the PYD as the Syrian extension of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ in May said Turkey would never return Afrin to the Bashar Al Assad regime.

Six hundred twenty Syrian police candidates on May 10 started security duties in Afrin after completing a basic training course given by the Turkish Police Academy and special forces members.

Turkey with Free Syrian Army forces took control of the Jarablus and Al Bab areas in northern Syria during an operation against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants between August 2016 and March 2017.

Erdoğan on Oct. 8, 2017 said Turkey would not allow a Kurdish corridor in Syria extending along the Turkish border to the Mediterranean.

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